I have an old Reader’s Digest article on my refrigerator entitled “All the Last Times.” In it, author Sue Diaz writes about how we experience “lasts” without ever realizing it. Firsts are met with big fanfare, like first steps or first potty trips or first teeth. The reason we don’t have fanfare over the Lasts is because we don’t realize it was the last time until later.
I realize I have recently experienced one small Last: Jackson’s last time in the stroller. To understand this, you must realize how often I relied on that darn stroller to corral my son at the zoo, mall, park, and any other event. I buckled him in at ALL times, because he was such a force to be reckoned with. If I didn’t buckle him in, he’d zoom off somewhere before I could blink. The stroller saved my sanity and his life some days!
I haven’t been using the stroller so much lately. Partly because he’s getting a little too big for it, and also because he has gotten a tiny bit more trustworthy at staying by my side. But recently, I had a string of doctor’s appointments he had to attend with me. So I pulled out the stroller again, buckled him in, and contained him for the appointments.
And I think those are the Lasts of which I speak: the last time my son will be in a stroller. I’ve stopped carrying it in the back of my car, which has been soooo nice when I load up after grocery shopping! But it’s a bit weird, to finally have that space back after eight and a half years of being a stroller mama.
And if I’m being honest here, I have to admit I DO miss that darn stroller. Not because it corralled my monkey, but because it provided a place to stash all my odds and ends when we were out and about: the diaper bag, water bottles, lunch box, and snack containers. I can mark the passage of time by the amount of stuff my arms carry on our outings. These days, we’re finally paring back on the packs!