"The Last First For Me..."

Little girl with pigtails, 50, fabulous & finally free.com

As a mother, you look forward to your child’s successes. From the moment you drop them off for their “first” day of Kindergarten, you embark on a seemingly unending voyage of “firsts.” The first time they ride a bike, write their name, play an instrument, sing a song, or play a sport – they all happen for the “first” time. If you’re like me, you photograph most of these firsts and do your best to chronicle them in scrapbooks or journals (or even on a site like Shutterfly where many people store their photos). As kids get older, it becomes harder to document these days – anyone who’s tried to get a 13 year old to hold still for a picture knows what I mean. If I had a nickel for every picture of a tween / teen rolling their eyes at me that I have taken, I would be rich! The tween / teen years feel like a bobsled ride as the years fly by and you become less of an active part of your child’s life and more of a spectator.

This year for me has been something of a blur, my youngest (my baby!) graduates from high school this year, while her older sister graduates from college. I find myself reflecting on how fast the last 18 and 21 years (respectively) of their lives have gone by. In the sea of “firsts” that I chronicled, I never stopped to document the last “firsts.” The last time I drove each of my children to school, the last school concert I attended, the last lunch I packed…these happened almost without my noticing and now they’re part of our family history. I’m not saying I miss taking my kids to school, the stress of that, when I first went back to work was intense!

I am proud of all of my children; they’re all strong, smart and caring people. They all have plans and will accomplish great things as they march forward into their futures. I have done my job as they say, I raised them to be independent and capable individuals and they are living up to that in every way I could ask.

As proud as I am of them, I have found myself daydreaming here and there about the days when my kids were all shorter than me, piled into my car ready to go to school, each one clutching a lunch made by me. I will be strong, I will be proud, but there will be a small part of me looking back and wishing maybe we had time for one more last “first.”

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