The Last First Day

Several years ago, my friend Amy told me about a book she read that discussed how parents celebrate the “firsts”, but often miss the “lasts”. Usually it’s because we don’t know when those “lasts” will be…the last time we read a book to our child in bed, the last lost tooth, the last Band-Aid we apply.

IMG_5098Tomorrow, however, is a “last” that I am very aware of. Tomorrow is Emma’s last “first day” of school.* That also means that, after more than decade, it’s the last day all three of my kids will start the same school together.

This is the last year we’ll have a “first day” picture with all three kids, the last year my girls will play volleyball together, the last time I’ll teach Emma inIMG_5097 my English class, most likely the last time I’ll direct her in a play.

All our lives will be different next year. Ellie and Thomas don’t know a world without Emma in it daily. And, while I am aware this is part of the “deal” as a parent, knowing that my nest will soon be emptying is a sad thought. My kids are two years apart – by the time I get over Emma leaving, Ellie will be a senior. Then Thomas…

IMG_5099These pictures are from the kids’ first day at school (in Madrid, Spain) – the first time all three were in school together. It is hard to believe I took those 10 years ago. Hard to believe we’ve been to three different schools since then, moved across the Atlantic and across the US. Hard to believe those adorable little babies are now all amazing teens on the brink of adulthood.

So I am celebrating this “last”. I am pausing to thank God for the years He has given me to parent my children, to buy school supplies and go to volleyball games and kiss hurts and host slumber parties. I am thankful for kids who love Jesus and love each other and bring us joy. I am thankful that, while this may be a “last”, Lord willing, there will be many, many more “firsts” to come.

*We are on a modified year-round schedule: school starts in July and ends in May.

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