Maybe for the last time

This is yet another week dotted with “half-days,” those portions of school days that leave moms everywhere wanting more.  Since my daughter is enrolled in kindergarten for half-days to start with, the half-day schedule results in kindergarteners coming only on every other half-day.  Except this week, which was conference week and therefore, for some reason, no school for half-day kindergarten students.  Are you confused yet?

The bottom line is that she had no school on Wednesday or Thursday, and so today I was happy that she’d be going back to school so I could use those two and a half hours to run some quick errands before the weekend.  However, yesterday she had a cough and complained of a mild sore throat.  (I canceled a playdate because of it.)  She didn’t sleep well last night–fell asleep right after her bath at 7:15 p.m., then woke up half an hour later, slept at 9 p.m., woke up half an hour later, then finally slept at 10 p.m.  She woke up before 6 a.m., then crawled into bed with me at 7 a.m.

I considered not waking her up for school, but today they’d be exchanging Valentine’s cards.  When she woke at 8 a.m., I was relieved.  She seemed fine–no more sore throat–but still had the cough.  However, she took a shower, got dressed in her purple “heart” shirt, and was ready for school.  I tucked my cell phone number into her backpack, just in case.

I dropped her off at almost 9 a.m. and just as I approached the grocery store at 10:30 a.m., my very cool iPhone rang.  Grace wasn’t feeling very well (no temperature, however) and wanted me to pick her up.

So, no errands.  I turned the car around and picked her up.  That is why we have no bread.

She spent most of the day snuggled in bed.  At some point, she seemed a little feverish, but by tonight her skin was no longer radiating heat.  She wanted to call her friend and invite him over . . . but I said no.  When he called, I told him she was sick and couldn’t play.  (She has no idea so don’t tell her.)

This afternoon, she came downstairs to cry in my arms.  “I just want you,” she said.  I was working so I suggested that she lay on the couch under a blanket and watch a show so we could be in the same room.  Instead, she wanted me to carry her upstairs, so I cradled my 50-pound girl in my arms and lugged her upstairs, thinking that one of these times will be the last time I carry her.

I have no idea the last time I lifted my 10-year old son or my 15-year old twins.  It’s so strange that a milestone passes without any notice whatsoever and then you realize that you never ever do something that you used to do all the time.  I used to lay down with my twins to get them to sleep, every single night . . . and then one night was the last night I ever did that.  I used to wrestle around with my youngest son on the floor, but then one night was the last time.

One day, I imagine my baby girl won’t want me like she wants me now.  Carrying her up the stairs like I did tonight will be a memory.  But at least I didn’t bump her head on the wall because then it would be a bad memory.

10 thoughts on “Maybe for the last time

  1. Wow. So true. So sad. And a great reminder to appreciate the little moments when we have them. Something I know I don’t do nearly enough. Especially appropriate on Valentine’s Day, I think! 🙂


  2. Awwww. I’m searching my memory for the last time of something. But I can’t remember. It seems the last time would be more significant than so many of the firsts we cheer about.


  3. Speaking of last times reminds me that earlier this week, I found a tape recorded message I had taken off my phone a few years back (2005). It was of my mother, then 99 years old. She said, “I need you. Call me right away.” Was that the last time she needed me? No, but I don’t have a record of the last time – however, in my heart there is a record of those all too frequent calls, and I only hope I responded to her need, never knowing when the last one would be.


  4. I used to make a big deal about giving the kids their last ‘five year old kiss’ or what ever age they were leaving.

    It left a big impression on them. They REMEMBER that, but not the first kiss they received on their birthday.


  5. Wow. I am really happy I read this today. I was just thinking how much I get interupted with my son tearing apart my office or needing to stop a read a book. Soon he won’t want to be in my office or want my attention.

    I need to enjoy it while I can.


  6. My husband and I did so much wishing away their babyhood. I wish she could sit up. I wish he could crawl. When will she walk? I hope he talks soon. And now, we really miss those times. I can relate to turning around and realizing we don’t do something for the children anyone. Growing up sure is bittersweet.


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