The last time. 

When you are a parent you are basically on a hamster wheel. Pretty much every day looks the same, wake up, feed, eat, wash, entertain, love, cherish, cry, yawn, play, cuddle, snuggle, work, read, sleep (if you are lucky) and the next day you start all over again and again and again.  Peppered through those days with our little ones are tiny moments that we will love and treasure and  eventually take for granted. 

Do you remember that handbag/action figure/ blanket/ book? Of course you do!!  You know the one, it is a constant in your lives, if you all go in the car? It goes too. Bedtime? Yep there it is. Bathtime? Oh the tantrums because said special item cannot go in the bath and then be ready for bedtime. In the beginning you remark on how cute it is! A few weeks in you and your partner/older child might give each other the knowing look as you strap them in the car. Yep, there it is again clasped in those tiny hands. Another few weeks in and you don’t even see it anymore, It simply becomes a part of your child .

Until one day you realise you haven’t seen it for a while, not since the obsession with the new wellies began.. and just like that, it’s over. It becomes a memory and you didn’t even notice when it was the “last time”. A tiny fragment of their childhood is over, stitched forever into the ever growing patchwork. You can only hope you snapped a picture to jog your memory.

Parenting is filled with moments like these and some of them will break your heart!! Kids are good like that, they will provide you with endless opportunities for you to beat yourself up.

I was thinking of this yesterday as we were getting ready for school and my girl brushed and styled her own hair. This is still quite new for us and has only happened a few times but I felt it, that lump in my throat and ache in my gut. Is this it? Have I maybe brushed and styled her hair for school for the last time?

She has the most beautiful hair, so many natural tones and highlights. There are some strands that may actially be spun gold. It feels like I have brushed her beautiful hair an infinite number of times. Some times I have treasured it but sometimes it is rushed and sometimes there have been painful knots. There is now a limit to the number of times I will brush it again. It hasn’t been the “last time ” yet. But it’s coming.

When was the last time she reached for my hand as she walked along a wall? I don’t know. She no longer needs to hold on as we cross the road, she is smart, sensible and capable.

Mostly we sleep all night now, the nights of scooping up my sleepy girl, her curly hair wild and soft and her cheeks warm and chubby are gone. When was the last time I carried her back and tucked her in to her cosy little nest? I remember.  It was last night, Jan 19th 2016. She felt almost as tall as me and there is no chub left on those cheeks but it was wonderful and memorable and I think it was the last time. Xx


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