Yesterday, just as I have done each year for four years, I drove to the high school to turn in the athletic paperwork required to clear my soon-to-be senior daughter for the softball season. It hit me as I drove away from the school: this year is the last time I will do this for her. I won't be here next August doing this. I will instead be driving her to some still to be determined college campus and sending her on her way in life. I've already done this once before with my oldest daughter, but the thought of doing it again doesn't get any easier.
When our kids are little we celebrate all of their "firsts": first tooth, first steps, first word. This year I find myself thinking of all of the upcoming "lasts": last softball season, last homecoming, last prom. My middle daughter and I have had a challenging relationship and at times I have thought that it would be best for both of us if she went to college far away. Now that the time is growing nearer for college applications and the next step in her life, I find myself hoping that she stays closer to home. I'm ready to see her celebrate some new "firsts": first dorm room, first year of college, first sense of responsibility.
I think back to that first year of kindergarten many years ago and I can't believe that the little blonde girl that I dropped off that day is already starting her last year of high school. She grew up way too fast. Now, two daughters will be gone into the world and only my son will still be at home.
I know there will be a lot of "lasts" this year which will bring tears to my eyes. I just have to keep reminding myself that there are many more "firsts" to come. I know that the next round of "firsts" will be worth waiting for.
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