Yesterday, when I was switching the laundry, I opened the dryer before the end of the cycle and one of my daughter's socks came popping out. This brought me waaaa-aaay back. When Erin was a little baby, whenever Ira or I would open the dryer while it was still running (to check and see if it was done already, because we are so not patient like that) little baby socks would always come flying out. It used to crack us up. Every. Time. Well, Erin got bigger, and the socks didn't pop any more. Then Haley came along and... you got it... Return of The Flying Socks! We had forgotten about those little pink things that popped out all the time. Well, I never realized as the girls got older, that their socks stopped popping. It just sort of, well, happened. One of those things that doesn't get noticed.
Until yesterday. When a sock popped out of the dryer. And it made me remember all those little tiny socks that always flew out every time I opened the dryer door. You don't notice when it is the last time something happens as your kids get older. Mine are far from babies now, and just where exactly did that time go? Erin is so big I can't really pick her up and carry her in the house if she falls asleep in the car. Or carry her to bed if she falls asleep on the couch or something. I have to wake her up and have her walk. I don't remember the last time I was able to carry her sleeping body like that and tuck her in. Why is it we remember all the firsts so clearly, but we don't recognize the last time we do something so monumental?
Haley fell asleep in the car last night and I carried her in the house. I know I have a while before she is too big for me to carry, so I cherish each time I scoop up that warm little body... but how do I know when the last time comes? Will I know to take a picture? As the second child, will I know to watch for it? Or will the day just show up that I can't? Already, she wants privacy in the bathroom (for her, not for me!) and dresses herself exclusively (explaining many of her fashion choices) and 1000 things they each do without me now that I used to do for them, How does this all happen and when does it stop? Ok, I don't want it to stop, I just want somebody to send me a memo and let me know when I have to play close attention to something in particular because it may be one of those "lasts" for one of my girls. I want to catch the "lasts" with all the joy and tears that I caught the "firsts" with.
I love watching my kids grow up. I don't miss the stages behind us. I don't like babies and I certainly don't want another. I just want to make sure I appreciate each and every stage we are in so that when they move on, I am ready for it.