One day I realized that it had been a while since my youngest climbed into bed with me in the middle of the night. It had always been a very regular thing... each night it was inevitable. I'd hear her little feet running so fast down the dark hall between our bedrooms, she'd climb up into the bed, oftentimes climbing over me like I was a small mountain to scale, and she'd burrow her way under the blankets, safe and comfy between me and my husband. I never minded. Once she was settled, I'd hear the contented sigh, the deep breaths she'd take as she was falling back into a good sleep, the familiar sound of the way she sucked her finger, her fist tightly holding her blankie.
This happened nightly til she was almost 10 years old. As time inevitably marched on, I started noticing how long she was getting, how differently she fit, but still somehow managed to curve her growing body comfortably beside mine.
I'm sure the first night or two that she didn't come in, I said something about it, but I don't think I ever realized it'd be the last time.
Do we ever know and get to appreciate the last times? The last time your rapidly growing baby crawls across the kitchen floor. The last time your toddler will reach her arms, expecting you to scoop her up and land her smoothly on your hip. The last time your pre-teen asks you to braid her hair, or the last time your son calls you outside to watch a cool trick he can do on his bike.
I think in the midst of just being a mom every day, I missed a lot of the lasts without even realizing it. I love how independent my kids are, but it's hard to accept being needed so much less as they all grow up. I miss my kids being little and needy.
I wonder if that's weird.