I recently re-read that beautiful, yet terrible, awful, train-wreck of a poem called “The Last Time.” If you’ve never read it, it’s a literary emotion-suck that basically just inventories all of the “last times” you will have with your children without ever knowing.
The last time you will ever hold their hand. The last time you will ever rock them to sleep. The last time you will ever carry them. Oh, the horror, right? Just the thought of that poem alone has me ugly crying like a Kardashian. The author is anonymous, and I’m fairly certain it’s because she drowned in a massive ocean of her own tears and was never heard from again.
If you have a strong emotional constitution and have never read the poem, you can read it here. (But I warn you – it’s the worst.)
So in the name of drying my tears and attempting to un-blotch my face, let’s focus on the “last times” that cause us to rejoice. Let’s give a big goodbye to those things we are ecstatic to see in the rear view mirror.
1. Diapers. Babies are great, but no parent fondly reminisces about diaper changes. EVER.
“Oh, honey, remember how he used to smile and then just pee in your face? I’d give anything to go back and stand in front of that human sprinkler just one more time. I sure miss that urine splashdown.”
“I’ll always remember the smell of that bright yellow poop explosion as it jettisoned out of her diaper and all the way up her back. It was so pungent that it burned your eyes. If I could bottle that stuff up, I totally would."
2. Vomit. Whether it’s newborn projectile vomiting or a grade-school kid’s post-lunch puke, there is nothing to be missed about your spawn’s epic hurls. Even if you’re a super-nurturer who fondly recalls caring for your kiddos when they were home sick from school, there is no way that you long for the good old vomit days. No way.
“I just can’t believe she’s never going to puke in my hair again. There was this one time when my little munchkin had just finished an entire can of SpaghettiOs with meatballs when she opened her mouth and let the entire post-digested meal rain over the kitchen — and me. It smelled rank for days no matter what I did, and the grout has orange meatball stains in it to this day. Ah, if I could just go back and experience that moment one more time, I would die happy.”
3. Teenage car problems. If you’ve had a teenager with a vehicle of questionable quality, you know what I’m talking about. My oldest daughter recently bought her first new grown-up car and I have not, for one second, missed that old lemon she used to drive and the resultant phone calls that always came at the worst possible times. No parent longingly wishes to revisit what I refer to as the “money pit” days.
“I was just thinking today how long it’s been since my daughter has been stalled-out on the freeway in rush hour traffic. I so miss those days when I used to have to step out of meetings and try to diagnose vehicular anomalies over the phone while worrying about crashes.”
“Remember that burly tow-truck driver we had on speed dial? Man, we sure called him a lot. I wonder if he misses us, too.”
Lynn Kirkle is a writer and lives in Omaha with her husband and five children. She writes twice a month for momaha.com, and can be found on Twitter @LAPainter.