Thursday, 5 August 2010

Last time

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.


  1. What a beautiful post. Reading this brought tears to my eyes, but linking to your friendship post finished me right off. (My son has a bunny named 'Bunny'!) This has made me sit back and think about all our lasts, rather overwhelming to say the least.

  2. oh that part of the film makes me sob and it is the reason I wouldn't go to the theatre to watch it (I was too embarrassed as I knew I would sob again). There was the last ever night feed I remember it so well - I knew it was and a captured it in my mind held it there and the time she said she didn't want to share my bed anymore (when hubby was away), last time walking her to school last last I'm crying too *sigh*

    lovely post x

  3. Enjoy the young years. They are short. What they don't tell you about this parenting lark is the black hole that appears when they leave home.

    Although this event is flagged up even as they are born, it is still a massive change to learn to cope with. And so why does it hit us so hard, as if this is a bolt from the blue?

  4. So so true, must stoop the tears now

  5. You really do have an amazing talent for putting things into words.
    My children are spread out in ages 6, 14 and 17, and what you have written is so true.
    I just try and embrace every step (my daughter starts driving lessons on Monday - yikes!), and hope that when they do find their own paths, that occasionally they will also end up on a side road back to me.
    Beautiful Post.

  6. Beautiful post Plan B (not sure the link is working on BMB).

    I can't even watch that video you have posted because I know that Agnetha and Bjorn split up acrimoniously!

    We're about to start potty training and put my youngest in a big bed. Can hardly believe it.

  7. Beautiful post Plan B (not sure the link is working on BMB).

    I can't even watch that video you have posted because I know that Agnetha and Bjorn split up acrimoniously!

    We're about to start potty training and put my youngest in a big bed. Can hardly believe it.

  8. Ah, i am so with you here. I write often about my tendency to mourn time. Memories make me feel sad because i wish i could get that time back. And you never feel you did enough to mark the moments, not enough photos, videos. But you'll always feel like that.


  9. Lovely post, you nearly made me cry, I have that damn pernicious lump in my throat too.

    My girl is 12 weeks old today... I must remember to note the "lasts" :)


  10. Oh this is lovely! It's so bitter sweet isn't it...this journey. We mark the 'firsts' with such joy, mostly...but it's the 'lasts' that sting so much. Not least because, as you say, often they slip by without us noticing. weep.


  11. That bit makes me cry EVERY time!

  12. Aargh, yes, they just slip away, don't they?

  13. Hello Plan B

    I remember before my girls stopped crawling (or crittering, as I used to call it), I felt sad knowing that with each steadier step, the phase would end and I'd never see them scampering across the floor like a pair of beetles. How will I feel when the gurgles and formless sounds stop and are replaced with words?

  14. what a lovely post, and thanks for the low brow reference alert .. laughing, laughing xxx

  15. Alethea - sorry I made you cry! And glad to hear about Bunny. My tip on the lasts - definitely don't think of them too much... as BlueDog says, that's a black hole...

    Kelloggsville - I saw it for the first time on telly when S and A were about a week old and I had one on each breast (well, not really as they had both fallen asleep, but you know what I mean) and I sat there and sobbed at the thought that they would leave me.... Still does it.

    BlueDog - you've given me a lump in my chest. Which is definitely worse than the lump in my throat. I can't imagine them leaving home, but then it's what I want...eventually. I suppose we just have to hope that they will come back every now and then...

    Mad House - Sorry!

    Suzanne - wow! I can't imagine what it will feel like when they start driving - then they really are heading away from you....Good luck to her (and you)

    Deer Baby - maybe it gets worse as we get older? You saying that you're all about to change is making me think too about how fast it happens, in the way that time just seems to have sped up since I was a child... And when you're feeling strong, you should watch. The pictures are lovely, but so bittersweet, as you say.

    M2M - and what about the ones you don't mark or can't mark? Those are the ones that get me? Because I think we forget. And it'd be silly to take a picture of the last nappy, or the last bowl of mush... but it was all part of who they are, even now, isn't it?

    Emma - don't you think about it... you're 12 weeks in... just enjoy the firsts!

    Spudballoo - There's another too. I think I must have stopped carrying L on "shonders" sometime round about now. She's just too heavy for me.... that I don't mind so much, but what about when I give her a carry for the last time? Can't think about it... Must notice it...

    Mwa - me too!

    Iota - oh, they so do... and I'm guessing it just gets worse.

    Zookeeper - words somehow aren't as bad for me, I don't know why. I suppose maybe because each word is so new and exciting and they're so proud of themselves for acquiring it. We had "slide" today, along with squeals of excitement at the object itself! So proud!

    Notes - thank you! And glad I made you smile - I prefer that to the making others weep!


I know. I'm sorry. I hate these word recognition, are you a robot, guff things too, but having just got rid of a large number of ungrammatical and poorly spelt adverts for all sorts of things I don't want, and especially don't want on my blog, I'm hoping that this will mean that only lovely people, of the actually a person variety, will comment.

So please do. Comments are great...