For some time now, I’ve wondered (and written) about the way that “lasts” occur in our lives. Especially when it comes to the growth of our kids. We pay so much attention to the first time they walk, that we don’t think about how it’s also the last time they’ll crawl — out of necessity at least. Firsts are celebrated so enthusiastically, that the lasts tend to take a backseat and are often simply overlooked. But from the perspective of a sentimental parent (which I am), it’s sometimes difficult to let go of the milestones of the past.
Last week my mom mentioned how Joey and Gianna no longer said their favorite catch phrase when people leave. For the last couple years, anytime Dani or I would leave the house they would chase us to the door and yell, “Make sure your tires don’t go flat, get food for us!”
I’m not sure exactly how that mantra came to be, only that the “get food for us” part came later, once they realized that it was within our power to bring them a meal on our way back. I thought for a moment about what my mom said and realized she was right. I couldn’t remember the last time I was sent off with that chorus combination of well wishes and demands.
It’s kind of sad, but the reality is, the well wishes and demands will likely never end, they’ll just evolve. I can envision it going from “Make sure your tires don’t go flat, get food for us” to “Dad I got a flat tire, can you pick me up? Bring some food, too.”
I’m sentimental by nature, sometimes to a fault. But I am also an optimist. If I think about this objectively, there’s a lot that can be put into perspective. Things change. Firsts and lasts come and go during our own lives and the lives of our children. It’s part of the process of growing, learning, and getting better. In that respect, we should welcome these last times. They’re gateways to even better days. Still, no matter how much of a positive spin I try to put on it, I’ll miss being serenaded with that particular, and now historic, chorus of well wishes and demands.
A while back I wrote another post about this same idea of how we all quietly outgrow certain times in our lives. That story was selected to be published in an upcoming book called “Dads Behaving Dadly 2: 72 More Truths, Tears, and Triumphs of Modern Fatherhood.” The book is on preorder now, and will be released on June 5.