Thursday, October 11, 2012

Those Other Times

Bob circa 2008

With Bob, I have been primed to be on the lookout for all of the "firsts." His (as yet unfinished) baby book prompts me to record his first steps, first words, his first tooth. Then there are the sneakier firsts, the little benchmarks that I didn't realize I was waiting for until they arrived: the first hand print Thanksgiving turkey, the first macaroni necklace, the first time he slept through the night.

There are also the lasts: the last time nursing, the last time in the baby swing at the park, the dreaded last nap. I usually don't realize that it is a last until the moment has come and gone. Right now I am too aware of the possibility of the lasts. I wonder when we cross the street, will this be the last time he'll let me hold his hand in the crosswalk? Is this the last time he will need help tying his shoes?

All of this longing for the past and nostalgia for the future pulls me out of the present, where all of the miraculous and heartbreaking stuff is happening. Every day holds something new and if I'm caught looking in the other direction, I will miss things. I don't want to miss things.


  1. I am so glad you wrote this. I find myself often consumed by the "lasts" and how we can never really know them until it's over (which might be a good thing because I think I would be in tears for days if I had to experience some of them in the moment as opposed to after the fact). Like the last time I'd hold my baby while she took a bottle (she doesn't want that anymore) or knowing it was the last midnight feeding might have changed my perspective on how I viewed it. It makes my hear ache thinking about these things as my kids continue to speed ahead. Thanks so much for sharing. I love your stories and this one really hit home.

  2. This is perfect. and such a good reminder to just sit in the present.

  3. Of course I had to read this when I am pms'ing.
    So so so true, your words.
    Love little blue bob.

  4. There are always lasts. I remember reading an essay about how one day the kid will leave your lap and never come back.

    But they do.

    When they ask for the car keys.

    1. Thanks for giving me something else to look forward to! xo

  5. Ohhhh. Lisa. I remember staring so hard at them as babies and kids, trying to brand each moment onto my brain. It sorta worked...some of the time. I do have some vivid and amazing memories. (not all of them projectile vomiting/poop)

    The best piece of hope I can pass along is that with every year, they reveal themselves even more and in new ways. At 20 and 23, they seem just as precious, just with more history, more mastery of stuff, a deeper expression of who they are.

    I love your solution to be and live in the moment. You give that off. Like a force field of receptivity.

    Now, having put it off since March, am gonna go meditate for 15 minutes. Thanks to you.

    1. Yes! Brain-branding that's the way!
      Thanks, Anne. Happy om-ing.

  6. Sometimes the feeling is so all consuming. Trying to hold on and remember and wonder. And now I truly understand what my mother always says to me about I am still her baby...and how her love for me is so intense. But the goodbyes to the things, the moments...they bring me to tears.

  7. I always had to guard against wishing the time away, wanting to reach a milestone that would make things easier for them and me.

    A few months ago my son announced, "Hey mom, this is the last day you have to drive me to school!" Due to a two week school break and the week he'd be with his dad, he would have his license the next time he would be at my house on a school morning.

    Until that very moment I thought that "taxi driver" had been my least favorite mom role for the past 19 years (he has an older sister).

  8. My therapist called it pre-mourning.

    And she told me, in a firm clear way, like Cher in moonstruck "Snap out of it or you'll miss what's in front of ya!"

    And so I try.

    Every day.

    But it's getting harder and harder.