Parenting Lasts

Parenting Lasts December 4, 2013

We tend to remember parenting “firsts.” The birth of a child, her first steps, the first time that he rides his bike without training wheels. These days, the memory of those firsts are aided by mobile phone video, never to be forgotten.

Lasts are more difficult to remember. We don’t usually know that this will be the last diaper we change, or that this will be the last time that we have to tie our child’s shoe.

Last Sunday evening, at the end of a long weekend of activities and hockey games and cookie baking and church, my 9-year-old and I were sitting on the couch, reading and listening to Christmas music as his older brother did homework. At some point, he laid his head on my lap and fell asleep. Shortly thereafter, I, too, fell asleep. An hour later, I awoke, and he was still sound asleep. He’s too big to carry, this rough-and-tumble hockey goalie, so I roused him to a state of about half-awake and directed him to his bed, helped him in, and covered him up.

And I thought to myself, I wonder if that’s the last time that one of my children will fall asleep on my lap. If so, it’s something that I will greatly miss, but a memory that I will deeply cherish.

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  • Sarah Raymond Cunningham

    Precious. And a good reminder. Thx.

  • This may be TB’s favorite TJ post ever.

  • Ric Shewell

    Our first child is only 11 months old. I can’t imagine having parenting lasts (although I probably already have). Scary and amazing.

  • I love this, and I would love to hear more about faith and parenting on this blog. I know it’s not your normal “niche” but you are a dad and a theologian, and I (for one) would love to hear about this. Maybe a series?

  • davehuth

    What would be wonderful, is if I could find some words, somehow, to describe how gratefully present this post has remained in my thoughts for days. But alas…

  • Jude

    My own son, who is also my youngest, is nine. He surprises me constantly by his sudden displays of random kindness and affection. I don’t expect that to stop, but for the nature if them to change over time. One day he will not be snuggling on the couch with me under a fuzzy blanket. To remember that helps me appreciate these times more.