The Last Time

When Jackson was very young, we would snuggle before bedtime, or before a nap. As he got older, this got tricker - he would have a harder time when I ultimately left the room, so we decided to stop doing extended pre-bed snuggles, to help him fall asleep more easily.

Often, during those pre-bedtime snuggles, I would think “How special - I get to lie here in the dark with him, and he’s sleeping on my chest… someday, he’s going to outgrow this; I ought to cherish this experience.”

That thought arose many times for me: during our flower walks, our bath-times, our count-to-ten-and-jump-off-the-couch game, our playful cheers-with-a-coffee-mug before eating breakfast in the morning. In those moments, a part of me was often realizing there were only so many more times we’d play these little games together before he’d grow out of them.

The idea that I was chewing on was: “Someday, there will be a last time that I do this, and I won’t know it at the time — any time could be The Last Time we do this.”

Looking back, I can see how this idea helped me be more attentive, more aware, more present in those moments. 

In other ways, it also prepared me for when he passed away — because looking back, I know that on some level, I knew that there were only so many Flower Walks ahead of us. I just didn’t expect there to be so few of them.

Every day was a gift.

Every day is a gift.