Tuesday, May 3, 2016

lasts

Pippa fell asleep in my arms last night.  After a scorcher of a day, her upstairs room felt more sauna than nursery, and we sweated together as she drank her bottle and I rocked her.  She rarely is asleep before I put her in the crib, but last night her little eyes grew heavy in the heat and she drifted off.  I was hot.  She was hot.  But I didn't want to let this moment pass.  I wanted to savor it.  Every day she's a little bit older.



With my first two kids, I was so aware of their firsts.  First time sitting up, first time crawling, first word.  With her, I'm more aware of her lasts.  Last time nursing, last time sleeping in her bassinet, last time falling asleep in my arms.  The tricky thing about a last, though, is you often don't know it happened until after it passed.  There's often not a cheering contingent like there is on those first steps.  It drifts by silently, unseen by most.  Unseen even by me until I look back and think, when was the last time I carried my six-year old on my hip?  I have no idea, but I know that she certainly doesn't fit there anymore.  When was the last time I carried her that way?  When was the last time I spoon fed my son or rocked him to sleep?

When my oldest was a baby, I felt like it would never end.  I was wrapped up in this whole transition to motherhood with a colicky baby, and the days ticked by ever so slowly.  That season felt endless and I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Then one day, I woke up and that season was over.  One day, she stopped crying and one day, she started sleeping, and one day, she became a little girl.  I think we have to go through that with our firsts, to understand that while it seems like it will never end, it does.  It changes.  For good, for bad.  It changes.  And especially, just when you feel like you've got it figured out.  It changes.

Normally, at bedtime, our goal is to get kids into bed as quickly as possible.  Sure we read to them and pray with them, and maybe even snuggle them a little if they ask, but in my head I'm usually ticking time down and thinking about those dishes that need to be done or how badly I just want to sit on the couch and veg out after a long day in front of a tv show.  So, I keep a running tally, score, if you will, as each one makes his or her way into dreamland.  Pippa's down!  1-0.  Leif's down! 2-0  Scout's not down!  2-1.  One more glass of water.  One more tuck in.  Finally Scout's down 3-0!  And the crowd goes wild!!!

Last night though, I wasn't keeping score.  I felt the enormity of her little soul snuggled in my arms, and I didn't want it to end.  Soon enough, my arms won't encircle her entire body and I won't be her everything.  So, I must remember to slow down.  To stop.  To breath in her sweet smell and these sweet moments when I can.  Moments where time stops and I can really see and feel and smell and taste how good my life is.  Last night was one of those.  Beautiful sleeping baby in my arms.



3 comments:

  1. So beautiful and so true! I've just started to realize all these "lasts" that I missed with the twins because I was so busy hurrying them to grow up. Just now starting to miss the fact that they aren't babies anymore! Such a good reminder to slow down and enjoy them!

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