As I laid next to my daughter, stroking her hair the way I have since she was tiny, I couldn't help but ponder when was the last time I was blessed to be curled up with my girl, comforting or encouraging her the way Momma's do? That train of thought lead to a huge list of lasts that I just don't think about on a daily basis. However , as I'm facing my daughter's last year at school and home, I have to say the lasts came flooding in as I cuddled up and calmed her fears.
Would I be able to recall the lasts as we enter this new phase of life?
When was the last time I washed her hair? When was the last time I read her a bedtime story or a chapter book just for the fun of getting lost in a story? When was the last time I was able to pick her up and carry her to bed to tuck her in so tenderly? When was the last time I tucked her in and sang her the good night prayer song? When was the last time we walked through the store and her little hand grabbed mine? When was the last time we laid in the grass and looked at the clouds? When was the last time we blew bubbles and tried to pop them? When was the last time we laughed so hard we cried? When was the last time she ran to me to help the sadness, hurt or boo boo go away? Some of the answers were not so long ago, but others....
....can lead to a line of depressing answers if allowed to go down that road. However, I choose a different route as I look back at the years I've been home with these precious gifts I call my daughters. I choose to thank God for each moment we have had, the good days and the bumpy days, because in them all, we have found a joy and a peace in all circumstances that outweighs the sadness of these lasts. For where there are lasts being experienced, that means there are firsts as well.
When I was the first person they texted on their new phones or that I am always the person they call when sick. We have seen first time driving, driving alone and driving with sister. The first time on a date. First prom with a boy. First trip without parents. First college class. First big Bible of their own. First cousins trips. First checking account. First checks written. First steps into public school. First boyfriend. First steps toward adulthood.
No matter how many lasts we experience as moms, we have to constantly look forward at the firsts about to occur and cherish those. Sure, some of the lasts sting, but the day I washed my daughter's hair or tied her shoe for the last time are a fog because on that day, I didn't know it was the last time. So young moms, enjoy the little mundane tasks you get to partake in and know one day there will be a last bath or a last load of baby laundry. But keep in focus the next steps are beautiful. For when we close a door on a chapter or season of life, God so brings new life springing forward in the new season He has prepared. So don't mourn the passing of lasts yet cherish them and focus more on the joys yet to come. Motherhood has seasons and each one is beautiful. I'm thankful that sometimes, for a brief moment, I still get a glimpse of that sweet little girl who needs her momma to curl up next to her and remind her what is true. But I know those times are numbered as well, so I'll just soak them in and love on her until she is able to remind herself of these truths and we find a new first together.