I didn’t know this would be the last time I nursed you to sleep. I would have soaked in the moment if only I knew.
I didn’t know this was the last night I would rock you to sleep in this well-worn rocking chair. I wish I would have held you longer.
I didn’t know one day I would be stroking your sweet baby cheeks and the next, I would be staring at a face so changed as the years melted away your cherub cheeks and gave you defined and unique features, just as beautiful and handsome. I wish I had stared just a little while longer before I dozed off beside you.
I didn’t know that after all the times I wished you would sleep through the night, suddenly you would, and I would miss you.
I didn’t know one day you wouldn’t ask me to help pick out your clothes anymore. You’re quite proud of your style now, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I didn’t know one night you wouldn’t ask for a bedtime story anymore because you were reading your great big chapter book and just wanted to chat and have mommy time instead. I wouldn’t have rushed so much.
I didn’t know this would be the last time you held my hand crossing the road because you’re much too big now and, you “know the safety rules.” Just the same, I’ll always be looking out for your well-being and safety.
I didn’t know that one moment you would be in kindergarten and the next, you would be in fifth grade, and it would only feel like I blinked.
I didn’t know all the days of you asking me for my time, would turn into me asking you for yours. I’ll never be too busy, my child.
I didn’t know how fast the years would fly by. I couldn’t have known when all our last times would occur, but now I have what will feel like only a few more years of last times to try to cherish and so many moments that will become memories to live.
I didn’t know I could love anyone as much as I love you.
Previously published on Today Parenting