Thursday, June 16, 2011

I dare you not to cry!

Let Me Hold You Longer

a poem by Karen Kingsbury

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 still small enough to hold

The last time when 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, last days of first grade,

Your last at bat in Little League, last colored picture made.

I never said goodbye to all your yesterdays long past

So what about tomorrow? Will I recognize your lasts?

The last time that you catch a frog in that old backyard pond

The last that you ran barefoot across our fresh-cut lawn

Silly, scattered moments and bright flashes from your past

I keep on taking pictures, never quite sure of your last.

The last time that I comb your hair or stop a pillow fight,

The last time that I tuck you in and pray with you at night.

The last time when we cuddled with a book just me and you,

The last time you jump in our bed and sleep between us two.

The last piano lesson, the 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 thing that you need my help with, details of a dance,

And the last time that you asked me for advice about romance.

The last time that you talked 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 onto 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 goodbye, 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

So let me hold on longer, God, to every precious last.

*It didn't help that I was scanning my husband's family pictures when I found this poem today. It's a great reminder that even though these days are long and sometimes challening, they are also the good days, the sweet days. I'm cherishing every moment (almost!) and I hope I continue to do that!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My eyes did get a little moist reading the poem. It's a good reminder to enjoy every moment, even the difficult ones.

Love, Mom