this moment: when you know it’s the last time

Our family had gone to the lake for the weekend, and Saturday brought us a fairly quiet day. Laid back, relaxed, plenty of time to unwind.  It was exactly what I’d been hoping for.

As for BrightSide, he was looking forward to the basketball games.  UVA was playing that night so he was counting down the hours until a 9:00pm tipoff by enjoying, well, another basketball game.  Our friends were watching with him while I blogged away, and our daughters were sprawled around us.  Bear and her friend were pretty worn out from their late night antics on Friday so despite their best efforts they were nodding off by 8:30 or so.

BrightSide and I were sitting on each end the couch while Bear lounged between us, stretched out with her head resting on BrightSide’s lap.  By 9:00 she was out cold, snoozing away while we watched the game, happy as a clam.

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About 15 minutes into the game we decided it would be good to get Bear into bed; we figured some gentle shaking should get her off the couch, and one of us could walk her sleepy self upstairs.  It turned out to be a wee bit more difficult than this.

BrightSide rubbed Bear’s arm and then her head, telling her she should move to bed and trying to convince her how much more comfortable she’d be there.  Bear wasn’t buying it. She simply turned and snuggled in closer.

Obviously this called for a more aggressive approach.  BrightSide slid off the couch and turned to help Bear up only to find she’d stretched out like a cat, taking over his part of the sofa and stretching her legs until she was pushing me off the other end.  (When did she get so tall?!)  That’s when my giggling started in earnest and I began to wonder if we’d ever manage to move that child.  After a few more attempts that were completely ignored by our sweet 9-year-old, BrightSide decided it was time for drastic measures.

He reached down, scooped Bear off the couch, and started to carry her to bed.

I was momentarily shocked when I realized what he was about to do.  Bear had hit a real growth spurt over the winter so while she’ll always be our little girl, she isn’t exactly our little girl anymore, if you know what I mean.  But the moment passed and I lurched off the couch to help.

Not that I thought I could help lift her.  (Insanity!)  I guess I figured I could spot BrightSide and at least slow Bear’s landing if she slipped.

I was flooded with memories as I watched BrightSide lift our daughter from the couch and start for the stairs.  All the times he carried her through the park, lifted her high into the air, or toted her off to bed…all the times I saw our sweet girl cradled in BrightSide’s arms…it all came flooding back.

We hit the stairs and I got a little nervous – it’s one thing to carry someone to bed but another thing entirely to carry dead weight up a flight of stairs – but BrightSide got Bear to her room and safely tucked away for the night.

He’s such a great dad, and Bear adores him so.  It’s beautiful to see such precious moments between a father and daughter.  There’s also something a bit bittersweet about knowing that was probably the last time BrightSide will carry his little girl to bed.

5 thoughts on “this moment: when you know it’s the last time

  1. Every time my daughter reaches to hold my hand if we are in a crowd, costing a busy street or just for a bit of reassurance I try to take note of how her hand feels in mind and how it feels to me for her to still “need” me in that moment. She is 15 now and those moments come farther and farther apart but I hold each one of them in my heart forever.

    Liked by 1 person

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