The last time was last week. I know that much.
The thing is though, I don't know when last week. I wasn't watching. It happened, it passed and it'll never happen again.
It's not a big deal. Really it isn't. It's only that we've stopped lifting L for a wee before we go to bed. She is officially dry at night. Another step on the road to independence.
And I'm proud of that, and of her. But (and I never thought I'd miss anything about potty training), I sort of miss the lift. The sleepy sausage snuggling into me, barely waking. The relaxed heft of her in my arms.
But what's actually getting to me is that I didn't notice the last time. It's odd, isn't it, this parenting malarkey? They grow up without you noticing. There have been lots of last times, some good, some not so: the last breast feed, the last night feed, the last time in the baby bath, the last nappy, the last bowl of mush...
And it bothers me that they seem to happen without you noticing. I love watching my girls grow up, but I also loved having them small and dependent, and as each milestone is reached I want to mark it. To put a flag in the moment of change. To take a snapshot, mental or otherwise, so that I will notice and remember that this was the day I picked her up for the last time, or this was the day she stopped having a bedtime story, or this was the day she decided she could sleep without her "Friend".
There's a moment in (low-brow reference alert) Mamma Mia where Meryl Streep's character sits, on the morning of her daughter's wedding, looking at her childhood bedroom and sings "She keeps on growing, slipping through my fingers all the time". It made me cry, the first time I saw it, and I still can't listen to it, or indeed, it appears, type it out, without that pernicious lump forming in my throat.
Because that's it, isn't it? Each step they take, each milestone they reach, each moment I miss is another marker on the path away from me. A path that I set them on, and that I am doing everything I can to make sure they follow. But it still feels like they're slipping away, taking the moments themselves with them.
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