You dozed off on the couch this evening during our movie. I didn’t want to wake you because you looked so peaceful, but I knew you’d be more comfortable in your own bed. I woke you by gently brushing your face and whispering to you. After several minutes, you finally stood, still half asleep and wobbly. I attempted to pick you up but didn’t have the strength. You’re not as little as you used to be. So instead, I wrapped my arms around you to support your sleepy little body. As we tip-toed through the house, still holding onto you, a thought came to mind.
“I can’t remember the last time I carried you”
I felt my heart sink. My stomach turned to knots and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get rid of the lump in my throat. So many thoughts crossed my mind within a matter of seconds.
“When was the last time I carried him? What were we doing? Where were we going?”
Maybe I was carrying him to the car after picking him up from preschool. Or maybe he got hurt and ran to me so I could scoop him up and make everything better. Was it on a night like this, where he fell asleep on the couch and I carried him to bed? I don’t know…but I do know one thing. If I had known in that moment, that it was the last time I’d ever carry you, I’d hold onto you a little longer, my sweet boy. I’d savor every second of feeling your tiny arms wrapped around my neck tightly, entrusting me as I carried you through the crowded room. I would breathe you in and kiss your forehead, knowing that I would never again pick you up…
As I tucked you into bed, I laid beside you and watched you fall back asleep. I imagined your once chubby cheeks and toothless grin that used to light up the room. I can hear your infectious giggles and see you taking your first steps. I envision me carrying you, wishing I had some sort of warning that it would be the last time I would ever get to hold you. And while I may never get these moments back, I now know that there will always be a “last”. A last snuggle…a last bedtime story…a last lullaby…a last tickle monster fight. And I will never, ever take these special moments for granted again.