For Old Times Sake

Written By Juanli Theron

I did not know, the last time, that this would be the very last time.
I could not guess that the last day would be the end of that phase …
Now it’s gone. Another milestone.

Your baby cheeks, so puffy and kissable.
Your lashes sweeping over your cheekbones like butterfly wings while you greedily drink milk.
Your nose in my neck and hot breath while sitting on my hip.
Your body that becomes heavy and limp as you fall asleep, cherished in my arms.

I did not expect it, the day you said I no longer have to hold your hand up to the gate. Or that you would fly so bitterly fast through baby-toddler-toddler-child to almost-adult.

I was warned, but I did not understand.
I did not enjoy every moment – after all, it’s impossible – but I realize I did not always appreciate the most precious moments either.

The sand is running all too fast out of this growing-up hourglass, my darling.

I greet the new you already in advance, but I do not feel ready!

Not for a more independent version of you. Not for a distance and for days without chatting with you. Not for hearts that break in love, or milky beards on previously kissable puffy cheeks. I’m getting older, but you’re getting oh, growing so fast.

So here I am sitting, unexpectedly unplanned, while you take an afternoon nap in my arms with your rugby jersey on, and I’m tearfully sentimental. You last sat with me like this a year ago – since one day you “outgrew” naps – but suddenly you feel like my baby again.

Can time just stand still sometimes?

Maybe now I will remember to appreciate our moments more while living within them? I hope so. I’m going to remind myself more often.

I take you in, feel your body heavy again. I fitted an extra “last” today and it feels like a precious treat; my heart is deeply grateful.

You and me together right now? Perfection.

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