The lasts are heaping on top of one another like a pile of papers on the corner of the desk. Just a few months ago, I drove my daughter to school, met her 2nd grade teacher and took a photograph outside of her classroom. Today she will come home in the afternoon as another year of school moves to the past tense.

All of life is like that, isn’t it?

This epiphany is one that I know, but I am unaware of its thrums in my day-to-day. This week, though, I sensed the texture of these lasts, more so than I did before. I spent the past weekend at my sister’s home in Texas, where we perused through several photographs for hours. In those pictures, there were shots of my mother giving me my first bath, a birthday party where my grandmother stood alongside me when I blew out the candles, and of all my personal adult milestones surfaced, like college and graduate school graduations, my induction into the Texas State Bar, and glimpses of my wedding day.

Some day my daughter will look at her pictures with the same earnest that I did this past Sunday afternoon. She will sit in the living room of her childhood home or her own house and flip through pictures of her past or move through a digital slide show of her milestone moments. Those two images collided in my head. When I looked at my mother and father in those early days with me, I realized that is exactly where I am, right now, in the throngs of motherhood, navigating my daughter’s upbringing, knowing that most of it falls to chance, luck, and intangibles we cannot quite identify.

I am in the middle of motherhood, yet there are days, when I might appear outwardly flippant about these “lasts” I witness in my daughter’s life. It hurts too much to acknowledge that she is not only growing taller everyday, but she is shooting out of the canon and the trajectory is one that is unstoppable. I stand on the ground, arms extended, but she moves forward. She will look back at me, but when it is a rumble she understands, it will be through a nostalgic viewpoint, much as I did this past weekend looking through the snapshots of moments I shared with my mother, father, and sister.

I spend so much time documenting all of these milestones in my personal writing space, scrapbooks, and photographs, but the stark reality is that I am helpless in trying to dismiss the beat of time. The minutes will tick. The hours will shuffle by, much like the clock profiled in videos that move in a super fast momentum. Just like from this moment, as I type, we will fast forward to 20 years from now. I can throw myself into the now, but it is still does feel like enough. There is always an impending feeling that as soon as I inhale a particular moment, just as I exhale, it disappears.

All of life is like that, isn’t it?