Are you allowed to hate a poem?

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I’m sure you’ve seen that really depressing poem called “The Last Time” that new parents of one child always repost, where one of the lines says, “One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down, and never pick them up that way again.” I read it around the time my daughter was born, and hated it SO MUCH that I still pick up both of my children who are ages 4 and 7 all the time. Sometimes at the same time, just to spite that dumb poem. My back hurts. I don’t care. When their alarm goes off for school I carry one kid on each hip to breakfast. I put my older one down on the couch and say, “When you’re taller than me, can we trade and you carry me to breakfast?” She says she will. My son’s catch phrase has been “pick me up” since he could talk, and now that he’s a little bigger and a little older, the fire of my contempt for this poem has been rekindled. He got tired the other day and asked me to carry him (in all fairness the three of us had just walked all the way from Herald Square to the Chelsea Piers), and I carried him about 14 blocks to the train. I was sweaty and cold at the same time, but my hatred of that poem is what kept me going. While I carry him I kiss his little face because it’s so close to mine, over and over again. Sometimes I say, “Are you going to ask me to carry you to college like this?” and he says, “Yeah!” And if he wants me to, I will. I’m also not sure if the author of this poem ever got around to watching Ghostbusters with their kids when they got old enough to get the jokes, but way better things happen AFTER your kids are too big to pick up anyway. Not that I’m going to stop picking them up, because I never will.

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