"Is this the last time?" Jenny asked.
A special reminder:
appreciate life right now, instead of in hindsight.
Yesterday I went for a walk along the beach with Benj. He’s nine and a half. Holding hands has been a no-no for a while now. It was sunny, the sea was sparkling, we were chatting.
Me: Can I hold your hand? No problem if you’d prefer not.
Benji: It’s fine. And he slipped his hand into mine.
We walked along together, holding hands.
Me: I’ve missed this.
Benji: Me too. And he gave my hand a quick squeeze twice, which was always our code for “love you”.
And I thought - was that the last time?
And I remembered this poem.
THE LAST TIME POEM
From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before,
When you have freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.
But don’t forget … You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feedings and burping,
Nappy changes and crying,
Whining and fighting,
Naps or a lack of naps,
It might seem like a never-ending cycle.
There is a last time for everything.
There will come a time when you will feed
your baby for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.
One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again.
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake to this.
One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus”
and do all the actions,
Then never sing them that song again.
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face.
They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.
The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
Until there are no more times.
And even then, it will take you a while to realize.
So while you are living in these times,
remember there are only so many of them
and when they are gone, you will yearn for just one more day of them.
For one last time.
~ Author Unknown
Thank you to Jenny Flintoff for contributing this story.