Years ago I read an article about mothers and children. It talked about how we are always taking note of our children’s “firsts.” The first smile. The first tooth. The first steps. The first word. The first day of school. We expect there to be a long list of “firsts.”
However, nobody ever talks about the “lasts.” The last time our son or daughter wants to be rocked to sleep. The last time our child wants to be read a bedtime story. The last time they ask to be tucked in at night. The last time s/he wants to give us a goodbye kiss…in public…where someone might see! You get the picture.
Perhaps if someone had told us that THIS would be the last time our child was going to do _________ (you fill in the blank) we might have taken time to mark the occasion. A dear friend of mine has often pointed out that “time has wings.” Indeed.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that article today. Our son is about to begin a post-high school Yeshiva program. Our daughter has finished her Masters and is teaching. It seems like only yesterday that we were bringing each of them home from the hospital. Then, we were making note of all of their “firsts.”
I suppose in life there are always going to be “firsts” and “lasts.” However, what seems to be most poignant at the moment is how quiet the house has become. The dog is my shadow as she follows me around now that our home is more empty. Out of the corner of my eye, I have spotted her waiting for one of the kids to rush in the door. She counts “her people” as we come and go. She’s going to have to wait a bit longer for some of them to walk in the door. Until then I guess she’s going to have to be content with my company for most of the day. There’s a nice, comfy, overstuffed chair in my art studio where I expect to see her spending a bit more time these days. You know, I think we’re a good team.