A collision of first and lasts

Polly Pocket

My sweet Katie,

Tonight I plugged the drain of my bathtub, squirted in a healthy dose of bubble bath, turned the not-too-hot water on and lined your Polly Pockets up on the edge of the tub.

This was probably the millionth bath you’ve taken in your seven years.

It seems that so much of mothering is focused on all of the firsts. First smile, first steps, first words, first day of school.

And there’s this span of time wherein you are cushioned by those firsts… where it seems as though each one builds on the one before it and there are so few lasts.

But, something tells me that before long, bath time will be a thing of the past. You’ll move on to bathing… showering… in private and this bubble of time will no longer be spent with me by your side, washing your hair for you… handing you the washcloth.

When you were a baby, we bathed together every night. We played with your multicolored foam alphabet letters, sang a million rounds of Old MacDonald and often you settled and nursed there amongst the popping bubbles.

Those days with you seemed so much slower.

Now our days are filled with lunch packing, school pick up, errands, homework and just the overall busyness life.

We are happy. But we are busy.

And somehow the years between when I felt certain that we had this immeasurable expanse of time ahead of us in which we could run a bubble bath and laugh and sing have collided into nownow when I just know those days are dwindling.

In many ways, now has become a time of lasts intermingled with firsts, where a single day can simultaneously hold joy of the new and melancholy over the no more.

But tonight, I drew your bath and climbed in beside you.

We played with your Polly Pockets together, washing their hair and singing our songs. Old MacDonald has been replaced by the entire Sophia the First CD.

Lasts and firsts.

And in each, I am learning, there is beauty.

Thank you for showing me the way, my dear girl.

I am so very grateful for you.

With so much love,



  1. Oh yes. So beautifully and heart-breakingly true. I’m so glad you had this cherished moment with your little love.

  2. Rusti mylifeasanofficerswife.com

    oh. I so love this. time is moving so fast… we really do need these small things to help slow it down, if only briefly.


  3. Kristin Shaw twocannoli.com

    So beautiful, Nicole. My son is 4 and I am seeing it ahead of me, and it is coming so fast. Thank you.

  4. Susan Cooper findingourwaynow.com

    Aw, such sweet, happy and melancholy times. Time does indeed fly by. Enjoy it while you can. :)

  5. Michael Lombardi imnotinfectious.com

    For the first six months or year, I honestly don’t remember, I gave my daughter all of her baths. I took her in the shower with me. Possibly my most favorite memories ever. Just thinking about it now makes me well up.

  6. Shannen forgetful.ca

    This post is so timely. I’ve been sitting here this morning feeling very nostalgic as I suddenly realized that we only have one more week before my 4 year old son starts full-day, full-time kindergarten. I’m so excited for him but feeling so sad at how quickly time passed.

  7. julie gardner juliecgardner.com

    Just catching up on posts now that my kids started school again yesterday.
    My baby girl is a sophomore and my son a junior.

    It is – at once – both heartbreaking and thrilling to watch them grow.

    I can only hope it always stretches to wherever they are.

Add a comment

(required, won’t be displayed)

About this post