Since he started sleeping in his toddler bed, my son and I have had a routine. He’ll get into bed, I’ll sit on the floor next to him, read him a bedtime story, and kiss him goodnight. Then I’ll stay sitting next to him until he falls asleep. That is, until now. Now that I have an infant to care for as well as my toddler, and now that he’s getting to be so big, I can’t sit there anymore. And a few nights ago, when I told my boy that I had to leave the room, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Last night was the last night I will have sat next to him.

I had to hold back tears at that thought. It hadn’t occurred to me that I won’t sit and watch him toss and turn in that bed again. I won’t listen to him ramble in his own toddler language. I won’t look down at the floor as he softly touches my arm to get my attention. My little boy is growing up.


Oh, how it breaks my heart! Even though I sometimes sat on that floor for nearly an hour. Even though some nights I was so tired, I could have fallen asleep on the floor next to him. Even though many nights he didn’t stay in his bed once he fell asleep, I will miss our special bedtime routine.

I share this because I learned something from it. I learned that we must not only enjoy all of those “firsts” with our children, but we must embrace all of the “lasts” too. The last time we give them a bath. The last time we nurse them. The last time we pick them up from school. The last time we sit next to them on the floor as they fall asleep. We must cherish every moment with our children, for they are fleeting.

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