“I don’t remember,” my husband said to me, “when was the last time I held them in my arms? I used to pick them up and hold them. And one day it was the last time I did that. But I don’t remember that last time holding them.”
Our kids grow up and we go through goodness knows how many last times. The last time they needed us to tie their shoes. The last time we helped them in the bathroom. The last time we cut a grape. (No choking on our watch!)
It would be crushingly hard to know, as we are experiencing the moment, the last time we are doing something for them. Or with them. The last time they cried in fear of the sound of a flushing toilet. Or the last time they laughed when you made that silly fish face. We want to believe those moments will be how life will always be.
I was online attempting to book a hotel room for the trip to drop off our son at college and I just couldn’t do it yesterday. I am ridiculously unprepared to see him off. I am not ready to have mornings without him here. Dinners without him at our table. Sunday mornings with bagels and smoked salmon I will miss seeing him take forty-five minutes to build his creation with the avocado smushed perfectly over the salmon, before he takes his first bite.
I have been trying to understand why I am having such a hard time letting him go. We’ve talked about going to college as a plan his whole life. Is it because I had my kids later in my life? Is it because I have dedicated myself to the needs of both my children primarily these past eighteen years? I may not remember when the last time was that my son built a science kit, but I am very sure that I was in the kitchen while he was working on it.
Imagine if we could appreciate the moments of our lives knowing that none of it lasts forever. There will be last times for everything.
But there are also firsts. Like the first time I will drive my son to his college campus and wish him a fantastic semester.