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    1. Ha! We’ve been trying for #13 for the past 12 years, Elizabeth, but (so far) God hasn’t seen fit to give us any more children — further proof that He is the one who opens and closes the womb. He has, however, blessed us with 17 grandchildren, with two more on the way. So that has helped soothe my baby fever a little bit.😊

  1. I am number 10 .. but although Mom could not have more with the coming of menopause .. the children continued as our family took in several new born foster children. I remember hearing my Dad crying in the night after the little ones were adopted .. such precious treasures! Most were adopted quickly by other families but the little one who arrived first .. we could not let him go. One Last Time seems to come too soon .. already now I face it with my grandbabies .. no more holding them while they sleep .. BUT .. we are here for them when they need us just as our folks were here for our children.

    1. That is a rich heritage, Donna, to hear your father share his heart like that when he didn’t realize you were listening. You never have to doubt that your parents loved and valued children when they continued to foster little ones even after having so many of their own!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing. I am 55 this year and we raise our grandson (8) And now my daughter who is 33 just got pregnant with her first.

    I have been over the moon happy but so many neigh sayers bursting my bubble because of her age. I know women have kids older and older now and all is fine. Just nice to hear it from someone.

    Thank you. Love your newsletters,

    1. You may be right, Letitia, although the only poem I could find by Karen Kingsbury on a similar theme is different than the one quoted above. Is the following poem the one you had in mind?

      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 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.

      That one’s a bit of a tear-jerker, too, isn’t it?

  3. I sent this post to many of my friends asking if they needed a cleansing cry. God used this post to speak to me on so many levels. Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing it.

  4. April is our busy month too. The first week of April we have three bdays in a row, my eldest turns 20 today, and another a week from today. My youngest, who turned three this month, was born when I was 45. We waited, not realizing all that we were missing. So it does make me a little sad that our little guy is probably the last.

  5. Thank you for a beautiful post. My youngest of 7 is 10 now; he is affectionate and sweet, and it does tug at my heart to think of him turning into a 13 year old in a couple of years, leaving behind all little boyness. I had him when I was 46, and his oldest sister was 18. I am deeply grateful for my two “bonus boys,” born after a series of miscarriages.

  6. So beautiful! It’s true for more than one reason. I’m 40 and am holding my 7 month old (she’s number seven, too). But this poem also brought me to tears because we lost our firstborn son when he was 5. I remember seeing his sippy cup on the table when we got home from the hospital. The last time he used it was at lunch. I remember seeing his pajamas on the couch. The last time he changed that morning. I remember the last time he cuddled between his dad and me on the couch, the night before. Sometimes they grow up, sometimes they just are taken home early. Either way, it ends way too soon. But the lessons God uses them to teach us are so important! Thank you, Jennifer!!

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss, Beth. As hard as it can be watching them grow up, there’s no guarantee they’ll grow up at all — or that we still be around when they do. Thanks for the reminder to cherish every day for that reason, as well.

  7. Love this JENNIFER! It reflects my heart as well. Landrie is soon to turn 13 and not a day goes by that we don’t savor every aspect of her childhood. She has been our long awaited blessing and we often refer to her as “The cherry on top of life’s ice cream sundae.” ;0)

  8. Wonderful post Jennifer! I am cuddling Baby #11 right now, born in January. I will be 44 years old in June and am trying to enjoy every minute as I know very well that he may be my last. And just in case the other commenter reads this, I have had 3 babies in my 40’s so far, so yes – there is hope!

    1. Congratulations, Brenda! We missed family camp last year, so I didn’t know you were expecting again. I had three in my forties, too. I also have a friend who had a baby at 50, so I haven’t completely given up hope yet for a #13. 🙂

  9. Thanks for sharing this – on a day when I am finding not having children at 40 so saddening, it was lovely to see a facebook post proclaiming there is hope of children after 40!

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