Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Firsts and Lasts
My lovely wife's favourite weekend read is the Guardian Saturday edition. She particularly enjoys the Family section. They recently featured an excellent article by Jonathan Sale called "The final moments".
The strapline read:
We are all aware of family firsts - baby's first steps, first tooth, first time riding a bike. But what about the lasts?
It is a really thought provoking article. My youngest (the lovely E) has just finished her final year at infants school - our connection with the school which she and her 2 siblings attended has finally been severed. So we are very aware of "lasts" at the moment - last school plays, last summer fairs etc.
However, the article talks particularly poignantly about the "lasts" that slip by unnoticed.
I was especially touched by this:
You are always aware of a "first" when it happens. There are embarrassing baby-books with blank spaces parents can fill in, labelled "My First Tooth" or perhaps "My First Projectile Vomit". You know when a child produces its first painting, or splodge. You keep the artwork in case Tate Modern wants it for a major retrospective in later years.
Reading to my kids has always been really important to me. When the Dubmeister was a baby I used to read at least 3 books every night to him - and each one at least twice. Rod Campbell was our favourite author. "Dear Zoo" is a classic of post modern Britain (arguably).
I still read every night to the girls - but the Dubmeister is an avid book consuming reader and he's 13 - so I don't read to him much, if at all, any more. Have I had my last "reading to Dubmeister" session? - has that phase passed into history? If so, then that is a great sadness.
But I guess that's what being a Dad and a parent is all about - it's not just the firsts, it's the last times too and it's making both firsts and lasts count.