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