"God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform..." William Cowper

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Last Embrace




Do you remember the last time you picked up your child and hugged them? For my seven-year-old, James, these types of embraces are coming to an end. After supper last night I picked him up to give him a hug and—oops—I couldn’t…quite…lift him…up there. It hit me then. Soon he’s going to be too big for me to scoop up and cuddle in a smothering hug. Soon he may not even want me to. Soon we’ll have our last embrace of this sort.


But not yet.

Summoning up my muscle strength and coaxing James to jump up to give us some momentum, I clutched him tightly and closed my eyes, commanding all my five senses to memorize the moment, to etch it forever on the tablet of my heart. For soon there will be no more of these.

Author Karen Kingsbury writes of “lasts” in her book Let Me Hold You Longer. We always celebrate “firsts” because they’re easily marked. First birthdays, first t-ball games, first day of school, first time a son brings his mother wildflowers, and so on. But what of the lasts? They usually end up blurring somewhere in the business of life. A last in a rocking chair with a blanket, a last pb&j sandwich cut in tiny squares, a last midday nap, a last pitter-patter of feet to see that exciting trash truck, a last pillow fight…a last embrace.

No one can stop the progression of life, but we can enjoy these times a bit more. As Karen suggests, hold them longer. And so that’s what I did last night in the middle of my kitchen. Held James longer.

Do you have any favorite “lasts” with your children or loved ones?

And for Karen Kingsbury’s Ten Secrets to a Happy Marriage, click here.



*photos by flickr

10 comments:

  1. This is funny b/c I tell my kids I want to hold them when they're 40!
    ~ Wendy

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    1. LOL Wendy! I feel the same way...now if only they'd let us do that... ;)

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  2. NewEnglandNature.etsy.comFebruary 20, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    Heidi, I loved this blog, particularly because of its subject matter. You, my first born, and James, my first grandchild. It made me cry, of course. Of all the memories of you that I keep tucked in my heart, I'm afraid, I don't remember that last time I picked you up and hugged you in my arms, but I bet you will remember your hug with James, even if it isn't the last, because you put the moment forever in your mind. That's what I did, the day you got married, kept each moment by moment, safe, so I would never forget that beautiful day, and how your beauty shined out toward everyone.
    I love you, Mom

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    1. Awwww, thanks Mom. Your comment is very sweet and almost made ME cry. :)

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  3. Aww, this made me teary eyed! Thanks for this reminder. I want to cherish the lasts as well. I wrote a blog post about that once:http://www.ourjourneyhome.net/2010/02/cherishing-last-times.html

    Love you, friend! Enjoy those lasts. :)

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    1. Beautiful blog post, Melanie! (Should I expect anything less from you?) Thanks so much for sharing. It was fun to read of your thoughts from two years ago. God bless, my friend!

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  4. What a great post, Heidi! And funny too...I just carried my son upstairs like a baby and teased him about it. But my muscles reminded me I may not be able to do that much longer. :)

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    1. That is funny, Sarah. Sometimes I wonder if my son is getting heavier or my muscles are just getting weaker.

      Thanks for stopping by and for your comments!

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  5. I love this post, Heidi! I picked up my five-year-old today and remember thinking that I hope she stays small for awhile so I can still hold her like that. But the "lasts", well...I suppose I can remember and respect them as long as I know they're transitioning into something else that's just as wonderful :)

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    1. The lasts are definitely harder than firsts, but you're so right, Cindy. They're making way for other wonderful things.

      God bless, and have a great week!

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