Monday, December 29, 2008

First and Last

A few years ago, when my boys were much smaller, I read an article in Mary Englebreit's Home Companion that I have never forgotten. The author wrote about how, as children grow, we never know when it might be the last time they do or say something. For example, every day for years Chandler would play with his wooden train set. Eventually it became once a week, and then only on rare occasions. Right now I can't remember the last time he pulled it out. No one yelled, "Hey, Jenn! Pay attention! This is the end of Chandler's Brio-phase." There were no alarms sounding the last time one of my boys wanted me to read Goodnight Moon, or tie their shoes, or kiss a boo-boo. Blessed mothering experiences fade into extinction without saying goodbye, leaving me wondering where the time has gone and how in the world those baby boys got so big. If I had known it was going to be the last reading of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, might I have read just a little but slower? If I had known it was going to be the last time they needed me to cut their food, might I have not been so burdened by the chore?

We celebrate FIRSTS all of the time--first steps, first tooth, first words--as well we should. God meant for children to grow and become independent, and each bit of progress is evidence that they are moving in grace toward His plan for their lives. But I don't necessarily want to rush things along. I don't want to miss any opportunity to experience the holiness of those wonderful, simple, everyday moments. And unless I cherish every one, I will miss the chance to celebrate any lasts--because LASTS come without warning or fanfare, and they vanish like a mist.

As 2008 winds to a close, I am looking back to remember both the firsts and the lasts that we encountered, for I am convinced that God is in them. He is, after all, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

1 comment:

  1. thank you for all your wonderful reminders of things to remember to cherish so as not to miss them in the rush to the next thing, with boys 4 and 8 many lasts and as a result firsts this year. (love the black and your beautiful picture)