Many of you are probably already familiar with Emily over at The Waiting. Once a week, she does a blog hop. I’m not much of a hopper since I hurt my knee and all, but last week’s topic has gnawed on me like a toddler with biting habit. It won’t let me go. The topic was “last days.”
I’m late to the game. I should have linked up a couple of days ago. I should be writing about “back in the day,” but this is my day. I hope Emily won’t mind me bending the rules a little. I wanted to at least credit her for the idea because it’s a big one, and I thank her for it. I think.
I’m currently living my last days. Not most literal sense, although last week I lost someone dear very suddenly, and I can’t ignore the fact that any day could be my last. I’m living my last days with a little kid.
There has been a little kid in my house for the last sixteen years. When one reaches the stage of official Big Kid, there has been another right behind them to fill the role of baby. That’s not true here anymore. Squish marks The End. As parents, we get all excited about firsts; first smiles, first steps, first Christmas. I was always too busy to notice the milestones marking the lasts.
Indeed, some of those Last Days come as a relief. You won’t find me counting diapers among my painful losses. I was more than happy to see the end of those
years days when Squish was too shy to let anyone hold him but me. And I’m definitely not weeping over gaining a little freedom and getting to have date nights again. Having a life is a beautiful thing, but it’s bittersweet.
A week ago, I set Squish’s car seat on the curb. *** He’s used it for almost five years. It was one of those convertible numbers that takes them from birth to big boy booster seat, and it did. We brought him home from the birthing center in this seat, and since then we’ve put thousands of road miles on it. And now he’s too big. Too big. All grown up. He has graduated to a booster seat. Our big and bulky car seat has seen its last days with our family.
On Friday, our preschool did a Thanksgiving lunch for parents. On Friday, I watched Squish parade around the gym with his classmates, shaking a maraca (and his bum-bum, but we won’t talk about that) and singing “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho.” His joy brought tears to my eyes. He is changing every day. For how much longer will he wave in frenetic delight when he sees me in the audience? How many more concerts will he perform at the top of his lungs before confidence melts away into self-consciousness? Childhood is a paradox. It drags on forever and is gone before you know it.
I’m living in my Last Days as a stay-at-home mom, as well. I’m looking for a job, an income, a new part of my identity, a career that will help fill in the blanks that I feel at the moment.
It’s not all bad. This time of transition has presented some marvelous opportunities for messing with my husband. Since I haven’t landed The Job yet, I told him I thought we should have another baby. He’s pretty sure I’m kidding, but that 1% of doubt is giving me such delight. And he skims longer blog posts, so there’s a good chance he’ll miss this paragraph entirely. I hope he does. I need a little more mileage. I’ll let him off the hook in a week or so.
Don’t worry about me. I’ll be alright. Where there are lasts, there will also be new firsts, and I’m looking forward to them. I’m ready.
*** Don’t yell at me. I didn’t want to send it to a landfill, either, but it’s illegal to resell them here, even in thrift stores. I set it on the curb in the hopes that another family might adopt it. It was gone when I got home.