I have read many posts lately about the last time.
The last time you hold your son’s hand on the school run, the last time you read them a bedtime story. When they are still small enough to bathe in the sink.
The general gist being that every moment is one we should savour and taste in its entirety.
Don’t get me wrong, I well up every time I read one. Then have instant regret for the morning bedlam that inevitably happened in my home before school. I panic that instead of kissing my tweens I hurled packed lunches at them whilst signing school planners. I worry that as I ran into school with the little one taking a work call en route that I may have missed the last hand hold.
Then I get a grip.
Because although there will always be a last time; the first times are coming in fast and furious and they only serve to enhance the parenting journey.
No one remembers the last shitty nappy they changed, but dear god I celebrated the first time my children managed to flush and change the toilet roll in one bathroom session.
I don’t recall the last time we snuggled on the sofa watching a Disney movie, but the first time we all went to see a decent movie with real people in it with the occasional swear word was an event we all loved.
(Disclaimer: not knocking Disney – but three kids and many, many princess movies has left me slightly worn.)
The first time I got to nip to the shop with only one child and left two at home hoovering was pretty cool. The first time I had a pretty mature conversation with my elder pair about relationships was rather amazing. The first time the kids texted me to say they loved me, just because, has earnt itself a screen save in my phone.
Because dreading the end of things does no good as a parent. It will end. My son won’t kiss me in public anymore, my daughter is still fond of public displays of affection. I don’t mourn the loss of my son’s kiss on my cheek, but I grab any opportunity for affection in the home.
I don’t miss the shitty nappies, the toddler years were amazing, but what we are evolving into feels even better.
I have a lifetime left to parent, to marvel at what I grew and created, and then raised.
To those of use whose children seem to be growing at the speed of light, don’t wait for the last times, embrace the first times – because they never come to an end.