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Posts Tagged ‘cherish’

I told myself to get out of bed, even though I really didn’t want to. Tomorrow the alarm will once again ring WAY too early and sleeping in today will only make it more painful. So I sat up, slid my feet into my slippers and decided to head down to the basement.

I tiptoed past the kids rooms where they were still sleeping soundly in their beds. We all stayed awake until after midnight last night and then the kids fell asleep in the car on the way home from our friend’s house. They would probably sleep at least an hour more.

I headed down to the basement, telling myself that it was time to finally get caught up on Grey’s Anatomy, having five episodes still sitting on the PVR. I got about halfway through the first one when I heard footsteps above me.

I called out so he would know where I was and moments later turned to see him, all sleepy-eyed and tousled hair, dragging his blanket behind him.

“Happy New Year, Mama,” he said, climbing up on the couch beside me and tucking his head under my arm. I turned off Grey’s, it’s waited this long, it can wait a little bit longer. Instead we watched some cartoons until our tummies grumbled and it was time for something to eat.

He decided on Froot Loops, I made myself a bagel. I poured two glasses of orange juice and pulled up the stool beside him.

He lifted his glass and smiled at me.

“Let’s cheers, Mama. It’s 2013 now.”

We bumped our plastic glasses together, each took a sip and smiled.

What a great way to start a new year.

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I don’t remember the last time you slept in bed with us. You used to do it all the time; I used to dream of the day when it would stop. You managed to take up a lot of room for a little person and your knees and elbows always found their way into the small of my back, digging around between my ribs.

I don’t remember the last time you reached out to hold my hand to cross the street. Now when I try to reach for yours you roll your eyes at me and whine “moooooooom.” Apparently you’re too old for things like that.

I don’t remember the last time you cried when you went to school or daycare or to your grandparents. You always went fairly willingly without us, always yearning for a new adventure, the next challenge you could tackle alone.

I don’t remember the last time I read a story to you without you reading along with me. I am so excited that you can experience the wonder of reading books by yourself; opening doors to a whole other world for you. But I miss reading out loud to you, rocking with you in our chair which neither one of us really fits in anymore, let alone together.

I do remember the last time you used a bottle and how proud of you we were for finally giving them up. At the time we thought you would never willingly throw them away. We spent many hours coming up with strategies and tricks to get you to move to a sippy cup. I was sure we had somehow ruined you, your teeth, your stomach, by letting you use them as long as we did. Now I wish I wouldn’t have made such a big deal about it.

I do remember the last time you rode a bike with training wheels. You were so desperate to be a big girl. I could see you sitting on your “little kid” bike at the end of the driveway, watching with envy as other neighbourhood kids rode by on their two-wheelers. I wanted to tell you that it’s okay; not to rush; to enjoy being a kid as long as you could. I knew you wouldn’t listen even if I did say the words out loud.

I do remember the last time you fit into the dress that my grandmother had made for me. You pranced around the living room in it, even though the zipper would barely close and it was about 4 inches too short. After I managed to convince you to change out of it I tucked it away in your closet so you wouldn’t pull it out and try to wear it again. Now it will be put away as it was for the years before you wore it. Put away to be pulled out years from now, maybe when you have a daughter yourself and maybe she’ll dance around in it just the way you did, that last time.

So often being a parent is about the “first times.” The first step, the first word, the first smile. I’m slowly learning that it’s actually the “last times” that mean the most.

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