My arms were trembling and my knuckles were white, but I wasn’t going to let my baby boy go. Only he’s not a baby anymore, he’s soon to be five and a half. His legs were dangling to my knees as I held him close to my chest. I’ll have him as long as he’ll have me, I thought.
We were damp and cold as we stood in a 30 minute line to see a holiday light display in a historic home. My husband couldn’t believe I was holding my son this whole time. But my tenderhearted boy’s sweet breath on my neck made the line move in no time.
The rapidly moving line got me thinking about how fast childhood really goes. “Time flies”. I no longer have babies, and my toddler will soon toddle her way to preschool age. The days and weeks are long, but the months and years are fast.
Childhood is comprised of firsts and lasts. For instance, my baby daughter said, “Hold you!” for the first time whenever she wanted to be picked up. The “carry me” phase was something cute my family enjoyed – even resented at times. Then one day she uttered the phrase for the last time. We didn’t know it was the last time. It went unremarked upon.
I know there will come a day when I can’t hold my children anymore or they won’t want me to hold them, and that will be a sad day indeed. I will carry my children on my hip, set them down, and never pick them up that way again.
I’d like to share a poem that explores the miracle of firsts and lasts of parenthood.