The Last Time

Do you spend your days saying “bus” and “truck” at every passing bus and truck? If not, it’s quite eye opening to see just how many there are. Luckily, I have the Bus and Truck Patrol to point and grunt and make sure I acknowledge all of them. Early morning walks on Wednesdays are prime Patrol times. We walk early enough to see lots of school buses. AND it’s trash day, so we see the trash truck every street. We stop. We wave hi. We stop and wave hi every time.
Then, if you can believe our luck, we make it home in time to chase squirrels before I have to shower. Again we point and say hi, and he chases them, through the pine needles and poison ivy, all the way to our neighbors house, where they have failed to pick up their paper from yesterday. We stroll up their driveways and collect all of them. Happy to help. 
Then it’s shower time. He pretty much roams while i shower (post-taking everything out of the cabinet). But the second, and i mean second, the shower turns off, he sprints to help me open the shower door. I then have approximately 2.6 seconds, but absolutely no more, to jump out of the shower before he closes the door on me. It’s like sneaking through a closing elevator door. Then another 3.4 seconds before he hands me my lotion that I must promptly use so he can put it back in the cabinet. Drying off is apparently not acceptable. It’s gotten to the point where my heart beat literally starts racing as I’m rinsing out the conditioner if he’s not in the bathroom. Maybe, just maybe, I can turn the water off and dry off without feeling like I’m a horse being cajoled by his jockey to the finish line…Nope, not this time. Not ever. 
And then it’s 9:15 a.m. And we have ten more hours of fun to fill before bed time.

Luckily though, the nice weather has made it so easy to find fun things to do. We have been loving our days lately, and it’s so fun to watch him try new things and develop a little personality. 

Every so often though, the number of times I’ve sung The Wheels on the Bus, Down on Grandpa’s Farm, and the Itsy Bitsy Spider starts to rival the number of glasses of wine I wish I could drink, and I’ve read (rather, recited) the same five books at lunch one too many times. When this happens, I think about this poem. And i cry, every single time, because I never want these times to end. I know this because about once every two weeks I take a shower alone, and I miss my little horse jockey racing me to finish line.  I sing his favorite songs even when I’m alone. I take note of every bus and every truck no matter if he’s there to help me or not.  And i know that I never want there to be a last time. 
The Last Time- Anonymous 

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before,
When you have freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.

You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feedings and burping,
Nappy changes and crying,
Whining and fighting,
Naps or a lack of naps,
It might seem like a never-ending cycle.

But don’t forget …

There is a last time for everything.

There will come a time when you will feed
your baby for the very last time. 

They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.

One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.

You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.

They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again.

They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake to this.

One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus”
and do all the actions,
Then never sing them that song again.

They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.

You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face.

They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.

The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
Until there are no more times.
And even then, it will take you a while to realize.