Let Me Hold You Longer

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A few days ago we made a library trip and chose “Let Me Hold You Longer” as one of Camden’s three books to read to her before bed. I didn’t pre-read it but it looked good so we grabbed it. I sat down tonight to read it to her and I choked up. I had to stop and fight tears every few lines to prevent myself from having a major emotional mommy breakdown. I’d like to blame it on the pregnancy hormones but I’m not sure I can blame that.
This last week I have been going through all of our digital photo’s (3 1/2 years worth) and prepping them for a digital scrapbook that I am going to make on blurb.com. This is the coolest website ever that lets you publish your own books. I have a million ideas for what I want to make. First project is to make Camden’s baby book. This will be much faster (and cheaper) than scrap-booking and I’ll have it done by the time the new baby gets here. Plus it is professional quality printing. Anyway, the point is that while looking over the pictures I have been very brokenhearted. I find myself oohing and awing over all of Camden’s baby and toddler pictures and I ache for her to be little again. I know she is still young but I feel like I lost part of her, if that makes any sense.
So, here is the poem from the book Let Me Hold You Longer by Karen Kingsbury.

Long ago you came to me,
a miracle of firsts,
First smiles and teeth and baby steps,
a sunbeam on the burst.

But one day you will move away
and leave to me your past
And I will be left thinking of
a lifetime of your lasts…

The last time that I held a bottle
to your baby lips
The last time that I lifted you
and held you on my hip.

The last night when you woke up crying,
needing to be walked,
When last you crawled up with your blanket,
wanting to be rocked.

The last time when you ran to me,
still small enough to hold.
The last time that you said you’d marry
me when you grew old.

Precious, simple moments and
bright flashes from your past-
Would I have held on longer if
I’d known they were your last?

Our last adventure to the park,
your final midday nap,
The last time when you wore your favorite
faded baseball cap.

Your last few hours of kindergarten,
those last few days of first grade,
Your last at bat in Little League,
last colored picture made.

I never said good-bye to all
your yesterdays long passed.
So what about tomorrow-
will I recognize your lasts?

The last time that you catch a frog
in that old backyard pond.
The last time that you run barefoot
across our fresh-cut lawn.

Silly, scattered images
will represent your past.
I keep on taking pictures,
never quite sure of your lasts…

The last time that I comb your hair
or stop a pillow fight.
The last time that I pray with you
and tuck you in at night.

The last time when we cuddle
with a book, just me and you
The last time you jump in our bed
and sleep between us two.

The last piano lesson,
last vacation to the lake.
Your last few weeks of middle school,
last soccer goal you make.

I look ahead and dream of days
that haven’t come to pass.
But as I do, I sometimes miss
today’s sweet, precious lasts…

The last time that I help you with
a math or spelling test.
The last time when I shout that yes,
your room is still a mess.

The last time that you need me for
a ride from here to there.
The last time that you spend the night
with your old tattered bear.

My life keeps moving faster,
stealing precious days that pass,
I want to hold on longer-
want to recognize your lasts…

The last time that you need my help
with details of a dance.
The last time that you ask me for
advice about romance.

The last time that you talk to me
about your hopes and dreams.
The last time that you wear a jersey
for your high school team.

I’ve watched you grow and barely noticed
seasons as they pass.
If I could freeze the hands of time,
I’d hold on to your lasts.

For come some bright fall morning,
you’ll be going far away.
College life will beckon
in a brilliant sort of way.

One last hug, one last good-bye,
one quick and hurried kiss.
One last time to understand
just how much you’ll be missed.

I’ll watch you leave and think how fast
our time together passed.
Let me hold on longer, God,
to every precious last.

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3 comments

  1. Anonymous · November 22, 2010

    baby books should have as many pictures as possible because babies like to see pictures :`.

  2. Pingback: Let Me Hold You Longer » So This Is What Happiness is?
  3. Emeth Hesed · March 28, 2008

    Tears started pouring as soon as I started reading it. I wish I enjoyed Rinah when she was a newborn instead of being so stressed out and nervous. Every day now, she does something new and is becoming a toddler, not my little baby. I am trying to soak up every moment but she’s growing too fast.

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