A warm tear trickled down my cheek as we pulled in the driveway and saw the mailbox adorned with a pink balloon and a welcome home sign hanging on the fence. This was the last time we would ever bring a newborn baby home from the hospital. Just a little over an hour earlier, my eyes welled up with tears as we left the maternity center. It was the last time we would leave the hospital with a newborn baby. And just days before that as I lay in the hospital bed in labor feeling her kick and listening to her heartbeat on the monitor, you guessed it – tears. These were the last moments I would feel a baby moving around inside of me.
These “last times” were expected, but I am finding that many of the last times for things have a way of sneaking up on me. Like the last time Samuel made that cute little face he used to make when he was waking up. Or the last time he took a bottle. Or the last time Emma joy wore that cute outfit I bought her before she was even born (because they tend to grow when you feed them).
We tend to focus on all the first times with our children- the first time they smile, the first time they sit unassisted, the first time they say a real word. But it’s these last times that have been getting to me lately. These moments of their infancy and childhood are passing so quickly. My sweet Samuel looks like a little boy now instead of a baby and Emma Joy is growing like a weed.
So this morning I took a picture of Samuel sitting with his little feet crossed like he does so often, because one day he may not do that anymore. Later I snapped a shot of Emma Joy sleeping on my chest. For there will come a day when she won’t want to do that anymore. And when that last time comes, I very well may not realize it is the last time. At least I’ll have a picture to remember.
This fast pace of the passage of time reminds me to slow down. I don’t need to dwell on what has been or worry about what is to come. I need to live fully in this moment – to live the unrushed life. And I need to take lots of pictures so that I can always remember when they were little.
Until next time, keep hoping!