Wednesday, December 3, 2008

We are aware of the FIRSTS but not always the LASTS

The other night I had an experience that made me stop and ponder something that has long been one of those truths that I don't like to dwell on.

I was in my room sitting on my floor in front of my fireplace checking my email on my laptop. My 11 year old son McKay came in and sat down by me and we chatted about a few things. As we were chatting he started looking at some children's books I have in a basket sitting there by the fireplace. This particular basket has many children's books in it that have become our favorites over the years...the ones that got read over and over and over. I used to spend a significant amount of time each day reading those books to my boys as they were growing up. Sadly, I honestly can't remember when the last time I read to them from those treasured books was.

McKay was thumbing through one of the books and very matter of factly said, "Mom will you read this to me?" That was not something I had heard in a very long time. He had the book A Job for Wittilda in his hands. As he asked, the thought that immediately crossed my mind first was, "I am so tired. I really am not in the mood to read a book out loud." But thankfully the next thought that popped in my head was, "What if this is the very last time he ever asks you to read to him out loud?" I knew that could be a real possibility because he is getting older and enjoys reading books to himself now.

So I said, "Sure, I'd love to." And I meant it.
Then the most amazing thing happened. This big, brawny 11 year old boy crawled right on my lap. He said something like, "We have to do it this way like always." That is how we always read together. It was so cool! I enjoyed every word of that book much more so than I used to. Just knowing that this very well may be the last time I ever read to this precious boy with him sitting on my lap made it that much more endearing.

When he was younger, I am fairly confident that the thought never crossed my mind each time I read to him that it might be the last time he asks me to.

It made me stop and really ponder the fact that when it comes to our children, we take great notice when they experience a FIRST. First step. First word. First solid food. First time sleeping in a big bed. First time away from us overnight. First tooth. First lost tooth. First day of school. First friend birthday party. We record these monumental events and even write them down in their baby books or take photos and scrapbook them so we won't forget the day and moment history was made.

We are very aware of the firsts. But how about the LASTS? It is a sad thought to realize that most of the lasts come and go without us even having a clue that they were a LAST. There is really no way to mark the lasts. Sadly we often don't realize when the lasts come. They sneak up on us ever so slowly. Just as in the case of reading children's books to our children. The requests slow down, until one day they aren't there anymore. It happens so gradually that we don't realize it has even stopped until one day we become aware that it has been a while since we read to them.

Maybe it's a good thing. I don't know. Maybe if we knew when the lasts would be, we would never let go. We might hold onto some things so tightly that our children wouldn't be able to grow up. Sounds like a good idea to me! But unfortunately our job as parents is to raise them to become responsible adults. As painful as it may be to let go, there comes a last for everything.

If we can learn to treasure each and every moment we are able to spend with our little ones, then maybe the lasts won't seem so lasting.

At least we can always hope.


The Hoyt's said...

Oh my heck Jodi, you have me bawling again.. I just love your posts.. It's so true.. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with all the little things I have to do with my kids and this post made me realize it all going to be over before I know it and I need to cherish every second... Kudos again!! Thanks so much for the reminder..

Jen said...

I don't think I've evert thought of that before. Thanks for the reminder to cherish every moment we have with them. They're only kids once.
And I love Witilda! One of my favorites!

Time to Blog It Up! said...

What a great post...I loved reading to my children, when did they grow up! sadly it all happens overnight, I loved your post. thank you. Tamee

LarryG said...

Beautiful soul - on the stroll!
y'all are lovely together!
thanks for sharing.

fivekidsandsomechocolate said...

That's a valuable epiphany. I have thought around the edges of it before, but not in that context. I need to stop playing the tired card and indulge in the moments more often.

Kelli said...

thanks for reminding me. Now that we have the little kids, Kyler joins in in all the book reading (which is good for him to read even if they are little kid books) but it also helps him remember his own childhood which had we not had two more babies, I am SURE we wouldnt be sitting around reading dr suese (is that spelled right?) anyway, thanks for pointing it out. I dont think I had actually thought about it.

tammy said...

I love your posts, they sure get you thinking about life. I also loved your tribute to Tyson and am sure it was very difficult for you but you did a great job with it. I also loved the great pictures. Keep up the great work.

karessamom said...

You struck a chord! you always seem to! You don't sometimes, take time to cherish the little things. What a cherished moment that the 2 of you spent together. It goes far beyond just reading that book to him. Sometimes in our lives, we get busy, tired or what ever and don't take the time and it's so important that we do. They grow up too fast.

My Wonderful Men said...

This made my eye water because as my son gets older I think about things like this all the time. I guess I worry about empty nest coming in just a few years and it's so sad. Every time my son calls out "Mama" I just hang on because I worry one day it may just be mom. Sounds so silly I know but to me it means so much.

Another great post, Thanks!

Michelle said...

Loved this post!

This is one of those that really makes you stop and think. Thank you for writing it because I needed to do that! It is so true. We never know when the lasts will be. We must treasure each moment while we have them.

da Bergs said...

Oh, Jodi.. this about made me cry. Our kids do grow up so fast and you are right... do we always recognize the lasts??? THANK YOU for this sweet reminder!

Time to Blog It Up! said...

Thanks for the comment...on the wordles you just have to type the word more than once. The more times type it on the list the bigger it gets. Also if you want to have two words together...say like pumpkin pie, you need to type the sure to add the little sign in the middle. It is on the keyboard right next to the number 1. good luck, they are fun. My daughter made a really cute one and put it on some scrapbook paper and framed it, way cute. Tamee♥

Yvonne said...

I have my last child getting ready to graduate in June and probably go away for College in the fall--so this is very dear to my heart.

It's so great to be a mom ; )

Mel said...

I'm crying too! Definitely I'm guilty of noticing the firsts and those LASTS really do sneak up on you! I think HF knew I would have a hard time with that concept which might be why he gave me a son that may never leave home.

Shultzybabe said...

This actually scares me. I don't want my girls to grow up. I keep telling them to stop but they don't listen. I love the quirky little things and I'm afraid I'll forget them all as they grow out of these stages. Lasts are a sad thing. :( Love it while it's there though, right?

Kelsee said...

Well said. Well said...


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