Tired, I lifted you up out of the crib. The sun filtered through the blinds as I settled you down next to me in bed. Your little arms snuck out of your wrap and grabbed at my shirt. You nestled in for breakfast, I closed my eyes, knowing I would open them in a couple of hours to you sound asleep, curled up beside me.
What I did not know was that this was our last time.
I saw it coming. I knew these sweet meetings were numbered. I tried to prolong them, willed them to stay.
But the next morning we woke up again with the sun, on your big brother’s birthday, the day marking seven years of my mamahood. It was the first day that I nursed a baby.
And yesterday was my last.
Motherhood is an anthem of jubilant firsts and aching lasts. It is a juxtaposition of beginnings and endings.
I am in four different stages all at the same moment, each of them leaving me breathless as I grasp onto the fleeting moments.
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” I pray it right along with the Psalmist.
Teach us to number our days, because one day she will nurse for the last time.
Teach us to number our days, because one day he will wake up another year older.
Teach us to number our days, because one day they will no longer slip their hand into ours to cross the road.
Teach us to number our days, because one day he’ll glance back with a nervous smile as you drop him off at summer camp.
Teach us to number our days, because one day she’ll don a cap and gown.
Even when we sense them coming, the Last Times always catch us off guard, always with our heart in our throat.
Yesterday was the last time I will nurse a baby. Today is the first time I have a seven year old. Time eclipses itself, teaching us to celebrate yesterday, be present today, and embrace tomorrow.
As we wade in and out and in between the firsts and lasts, we discover the beauty in numbering our days, that every single one of them is a gift. And that missed opportunities and regrets cannot steal today’s joy or tomorrow’s hope. There is no time for that.
Whether we are ready for them or not, tomorrow will meet us with firsts and lasts, and every piece plays a part in our story, each celebration, every achy in between, and the Last Times we’re never ready for, they all become a part of the mama we are today.
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
I’m enjoying watching you number your days, my friend! I’m reliving MY numbering of days which took place a generation ago. Enjoy this moment while you’re in it!
Thank you so much Elaine!!
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