In this book, the mother Elizabeth Baxter is struggling with the fact that her son is getting married and moving away. She also has four daughters and she talks about how "a daughter is a daughter for life, a son is a son until he takes a wife." (I say bull to that, but that's just me being bitter!) Anyway, this poem turned children's book talks about how as parents we always document our children's "firsts" but very rarely focus on their lasts. I was literally bawling through out the entire poem. So, yesterday I decided to order it and add it to Brooks' book collection.
I know all you mommy's out there will appreciate it. This book would be a great gift for a new baby, a baby shower or even a graduation gift! Enjoy...
Long ago you came to me, a miracle of firsts,
First smiles and teeth and baby steps, a sunbeam on the burst.
But one day you will move away and leave to me your past
And I will be left thinking of a lifetime of your lasts…
The last time that I held a bottle to your baby lips
The last time that I lifted you and held you on my hip.
The last night when you woke up crying, needing to be walked,
When last you crawled up with your blanket, wanting to be rocked.
The last time when you ran to me,s till small enough to hold.
The last time that you said you’d marry me when you grew old.
Precious, simple moments and bright flashes from your past
Would I have held on longer if I’d known they were your last?
Our last adventure to the park, your final midday nap,
The last time when you wore your favorite faded baseball cap.
Your last few hours of kindergarten, those last few days of first grade,
Your last at bat in Little League, last colored picture made.
I never said good-bye to all your yesterdays long passed.
So what about tomorrow-will I recognize your lasts?
The last time that you catch a frog in that old backyard pond.
The last time that you run barefoot across our fresh-cut lawn.
Silly, scattered images will represent your past.
I keep on taking pictures, never quite sure of your lasts…
The last time that I comb your hair or stop a pillow fight.
The last time that I pray with you and tuck you in at night.
The last time when we cuddle with a book, just me and you
The last time you jump in our bed and sleep between us two.
The last piano lesson, last vacation to the lake.
Your last few weeks of middle school, last soccer goal you make.
I look ahead and dream of days that haven’t come to pass.
But as I do, I sometimes miss today’s sweet, precious lasts…
The last time that I help you with a math or spelling test.
The last time when I shout that yes, your room is still a mess.
The last time that you need me for a ride from here to there.
The last time that you spend the night with your old tattered bear.
My life keeps moving faster, stealing precious days that pass,
I want to hold on longer-want to recognize your lasts…
The last time that you need my help with details of a dance.
The last time that you ask me for advice about romance.
The last time that you talk to me about your hopes and dreams.
The last time that you wear a jersey for your high school team.
I’ve watched you grow and barely noticed seasons as they pass.
If I could freeze the hands of time,I’d hold on to your lasts.
For come some bright fall morning, you’ll be going far away.
College life will beckon in a brilliant sort of way.
One last hug, one last good-bye, one quick and hurried kiss.
One last time to understand just how much you’ll be missed.
I’ll watch you leave and think how fast our time together passed.
Let me hold on longer, God, to every precious last.