Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Let Me Hold You Longer

I'm still crafting like a crazy woman over here, but, alas, I still can't spill the beans as to what I am doing (see last post).  However, another fun event happened today!  I took my oldest over to his new school to turn in his KINDGERGARTEN packet!

I can't believe I have a kindergartener in the fall.  He is my special buddy--the baby who patiently put up with me as I learned to be a mommy;  the pregnancy that caused me to get sick almost every day, for most of the day, and sent me to the ER 3 or 4 times to get hydrated; the labor that took almost 24 hours and ended with him being emergency vacuumed out and breathing only with the help of a bag for his first 10 minutes of life; the big brother who patiently welcomed his little brother into the world and has taught him the joy of running, giggling and having fun.  I'm going to miss him terribly next year.  A stage of life is passing and a new one is beginning.

Can you tell I am feeling sentimental?  Well, to just add some salt to my wounds, I read Karen Kingsbury's Let Me Hold You Longer poem tonight.  Needless to say, I am a big, blubbering mess right now. 

I know God has great plans for my buddy, and this new stage is a great thing.  I just need moments like today to remember to be patient when I am frustrated with being a stay at home mommy and when I am impatient with the boys.  Before I blink, it will be gone, and I'll cherish those memories of giggles and snuggles that I took for granted at the time.

Here's the poem by Karen Kingsbury--just in time for Mother's Day.  Grab some tissues and go hug your kiddos.


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 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,
still 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 in 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 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 the 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.


  1. I can totally relate to your post...we signed up our baby for kindergarten last week. You would think after having five older children that this wouldn't be such a shock to me, but she is our last 'baby' and it has hit me hard.

    Ellie turned five today...and like you, I know God has great plans for her as well as our other children, but I am having a hard time knowing my baby girl won't be at my side this fall.

    Sending hugs...and thanks for sharing the poem!


  2. Lillian FranciscoMay 3, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    Chiara...thank you so much for sharing this poem. Now I'm a tearful mess :) Today was such a hard day, and the poem definitely puts things in perspective to really cherish these times that they're still so young. We are so blessed to spend this time with them. Thank you again--I'm printing this out and posting it as a good reminder to myself :)


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