I keep our suitcase packed with toothbrushes and paste, deodorant, shampoo and a comb so all I have to do is quickly throw a few clothes in it any time we feel like taking a spontaneous trip. I scour our town’s community events website and the church’s activity calendar looking for something new and exciting to check out.
New things are fun. Exploring a new downtown area, picnicking off a new hiking trail, checking out a new street fair… these are the things we look forward to.
The little things, though, the things we don’t circle on a calendar or e-mail our families about, these are the important things.
Racing wooden trains across the kitchen floor, dancing in our socks to The Monkees, pretending to be surprised every time we attempt to give a kiss and let a hat bill get in our way… these are the important parts of life.
And story time, oh, story time.
Story time is something that happens so many times each day. It’s something I don’t really even offer any more because we’ve always just done it.
He has already brought us a book or two and asked for us to read them. He has already curled up in our laps or beside us and rested his tiny little hand on our wrists as we read out loud. He has already helped to turn the pages, has already shouted “zip zip zip zip zip!” during Builder Goose, has already made the animal sounds in Little Farm, has already signed “fish” during Rainbow Fish. He has already furrowed his eyebrows in concern when the baby bird falls out of the tree and can’t find his mother, has already pointed out the upside down Y in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and has already pointed out the puppy on each page of B is for Builder.
One of those silly moments I think about too much and too often is the moment he decides he doesn’t need or want me to read to him anymore. He will be excited to read to us someday, and I’m excited for that day too… but he’ll probably still let us read him a chapter from our bedtime book or a poem from one of Shel Silverstein’s books. Then, one day, he won’t. One day we’ll finish our bedtime book and we won’t pick another one together. He’ll want to read it on his own, or maybe I’ll have the flu or he’ll be away for a week-long summer camp adventure.
My grandma once told me that her mother told her motherhood is a lot of firsts and a lot of lasts. She said some of them are obvious and some of them are lasts you don’t even think about until weeks or months or years later… you just realize one day they haven’t done X or asked you to Y or needed you to Z in quite some time.
We’ve already achieved so many lasts in this short little chunk of time. We’ve passed the last gummy smile, the last 45-minute nursing session, the last time he crawled towards us instead of ran.
We have an awful lot of lasts ahead of us, some just a few short months away—the last time we spend a whole day focused on only him, the last time we tuck him in all by himself, the last trip as a family of three—but I try not to get too caught up in that. If I think too much about the lasts, I might miss the right-nows, and these right-nows are the best and most beautiful part of life.