As of Wednesday afternoon, my youngest child officially entered his senior year of high school. We are now on a countdown of lasts. To be honest, I’ve never been sentimental about my baby’s “lasts.” I guess it is because he was my third child in three years, so by the time his “lasts” hit, I am so ready to be done with that season. Bottles. Diapers. Potty Training. I did a dance when I sent him to his first day of kindergarden, when he graduated from elementary school, after the final middle school sporting event. I was ready to be done with those stages by the time he reached them.
Now we begin our last college visits and decision, our last ACT test (June!), our last sports seasons, awards programs, piano recitals, school dances. We’ll culminate with graduation next June and once again all three of our children will be in the same phase of life: college.
I’ve truly loved the high school/teen years. Even the hard parts. I’ve loved watching my kids grow into responsible young adults, watching their relationships with the Lord grow and change and become their own. But now that two are in college, I find I’m enjoying that stage as well. Don’t get me wrong. College-age children can still be exhausting–and expensive! It can be painful to watch them navigate new territory on their own. But the more we let go, the more they take responsibility for their own lives. And isn’t that what the past two decades have been about?
So as of this week, we start counting down our “lasts.” We move toward the moment where none of our children will be around on an everyday basis. But that’s okay. In my mind, it is only the journey toward a whole new series of “firsts.” And I find myself looking forward to the adventure.