Sunday, January 20, 2008

Remembering the "lasts" and a giveaway!

I promised a giveaway was coming, so before this weekend is history, here it goes...

First of all, I've had this particular item in mind as a giveaway for a while now. But with the rash of stories about tiny bundles full of new life and promise giving way to the wonderment and mommy-love of toddlerhood, followed close on the heels of the magical preschool years, which suddenly morph into an out of control snowball effect of elementary-then junior-then senior high school until-with barely a moment's notice--the once tiny, helpless person, who now stands a head taller than you, waves as his car heads off to college or beyond; well, it was obvious the time for this giveaway was now.

For it was yesterday, literally, that the Boy's 7th grade basketball season ended (with first place trophies in both the championship game and the regular season, if I might brag on him for a moment.) We drove home, as we have each Saturday morning since early November, with every seat in the vehicle occupied by a game-wearied child; some coming down off snack bar sugar rushes, while others regrouped from their roles of cheerleaders-at-large, and one, in particular, who had, in both sweat and smiles, played to his heart's content. My husband turned to me with a sudden realization and noted sadly, "Next year, when basketball season ends, it really will end...And football season...And track season." Next year, if we aren't careful we'll miss celebrating these "lasts" with the Boy before our foray into the world of high-school sports begins. Dear God, I hope we don't miss it.

And I'm hoping we won't, thanks to a lovely book, called Let Me Hold You Longer, given to me by another dear mommy-friend, trying desperately not to miss any "lasts" herself. I've given copies to other mothers before and, this week, I'll give away a copy to another mom, who between furiously taking mental notes and pictures of her children's youth, might enjoy the message this tender story sends.

The book is by highly-accomplished author, Karen Kingsbury, who in addition to her writing accolades is also mom to six children, three of whom are adopted from Haiti. From the book jacket:

Karen Kingsbury has created a touching reminder that the years of childhood fly too quickly by us. Most of us faithfully remember and capture our children's "firsts." Karen encourages readers to try to recognize and savor the often fleeting "lasts"--those milestones that so easily go unnoticed.
The giveaway is open to everyone. Simply leave a comment and tell me about the "last" you remember best. It can be one of your children's lasts or one from your own childhood. I'll choose a winner at random on Thursday, January 23rd at noon CST.


Anonymous said...

What a great idea! This is just the reminder I needed to read-thank you. THis morning has been a rough one and I have failed to see the beauty of my 5 little ones- we are expecting #6 and it is all so overwhelming. So, as one of my "lasts" I must say it is plainly to make each day as if it is the last-we just never know.
Thanks! God bless!- Mary

Life in Fitzville said...

Ohhhh, your timing.

My 'baby' turns 16 in just 2 short weeks. Because she was my 'only' for a while, I had the time and energy to be keeping a full journal of notes and poems etc. when she was small. It's not so much the lasts for me... it's the lasts making me remember the firsts that bring the tears.

Here is a poem from back in those days. In her journal, it is complete with a picture of her as a tiny toddler, holding her first 'very own' popsicle.

"A popsicle alone isn't good enough

She wants to hold it herself

The bottles and rattles are gone now

They're gathering dust on the shelf

As she struggles to gain independence

I realize I have to let go

Faded pictures the only reminder

Of the baby I used to know."

Alrighty... tears again. I can't beleve she'll be 16...

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the Boy!!!! Way to go!!!

Not too long ago-4 months-the baby graduated from the infant carseat to the "big" carseat. Most babies don't stay in the baby carseat until they are 18 months old, but b/c she was a preemie and didn't gain weight quickly she didn't meet the weight requirement to be turned forward until she was 18 months old. We went to our local police station to have the new seat installed and when the very patient police officer took out the beloved infant seat the baby started crying like crazy. She stood next to me touching the baby seat and pointing to it as if to say-"hey, that's my seat, what are you doing?" She cried most of the way home from the police station in her new forward facing big carseat. I kept looking in the rearview mirror for my little baby in her infant seat surprised to see a big girl facing me! We are both okay now and like the big seat!

Anonymous said...

Excellent choice Jane! I have this book too and love it. It's so funny that you are talking about this today, b/c we have been thinking the same about Kyle. Actually I had forgotten how close in age the boys are until I read your message. My heart aches too with the thought of him going to a school without me...I was teaching at our school when he was a toddler running the halls, now he's in 7th grade and headed for his 8th grade year and 'ruling the school'. I told Walter I might have to work part-time at St. L, and follow him to h.s. too...Walter suggested Kyle might not like me following him around h.s....hmmm? Let me think. :) Anyway, had to let you know these little tidbits...and thank you for being right there with me from miles away in the savoring of those "lasts" along the way.


patjrsmom said...

Wow! I had no idea what wonderful stories I would be made privy to by doing this giveaway. Thank you so much for sharing. I can't wait to hear more! And it's a good thing I decided to make the drawing "random"--there's no way I could choose just one!

God Bless,

Laura W. said...

Oh, dear...I'm already tearing up after reading the comments before me (sniff sniff). I don't like to think of these 'lasts' but I am really trying to focus on my children and enjoy everything about them right now. When they come to talk to me, show me something, ask me a question during the day, I try to stop what I'm doing and look them in the eyes and just BE in the moment rather than trying to hurry them along so I can finish whatever I am doing...I can't believe my only daughter just turned nine!!! I always just assumed there would be another girl somewhere in the bunch! My baby is nine months now and is crawling and standing on his own and pretty soon he will be RUNNING everywhere...and my arms will be empty. My arms have been holding babies for almost eleven years now...but I know the time will come when there really won't be a baby in my arms anymore. How can that be??? Each season has it's joys, though, so I will not be sad.

Anonymous said...

Jane Bishop!

I found your blog through Kelly Payne. You have a beautiful family! I'm now happily adding another wonderful blog to my list.

I'm now mom of four great kids, no teenagers yet, you're my hero. :)

Kathy (FitzGibbon) Amodio

patjrsmom said...

Hi Kathy!

How wonderful to hear from you! Our crew keeps us hopping and we're in the process of adding to the mix again (the plan is another adoption...but, in general, God laughs at my plans so we'll see...) I'd be honored to be one of your bloggy friends and the Ark always has room for more visitors--especially another Fitz. We like things in pairs around here. ;-)

God Bless,

Amy L Brooke said...

Thanks for your sweet words.

I've enjoyed your site and hope to come back again.

I noticed you are in IL. Where in IL? I'm in Normal (no jokes please!).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the idea Jane. Just the other night, after he suffered a day with the stomach flu, poor FLynn fell asleep in my arms. He will be turning 4 one week from today and I don't have "little" children. I snuggled him up on my lap, taking advantage of being able to him on his warm forehead that he didn't run from. I thought at that moment about how many more times he would fall asleep in my arms. Instead of asking Shaun to carry him to bed , I did and realized that was probably the last time I would do that! He woke up half way up the stairs as I was trying to keep from hitting the poor guys head on the wall! Have a great day! Paige