Let the Lasts Begin!

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.

12 comments on “Let the Lasts Begin!

  1. Anne I completely understands those lasts but you have many new Fiesta to come! This weekend is the first with all my grandchildren visiting at the same time. Enjoy it all!

    • Yay for new Fiestas! I know you are enjoying all your grandkids visiting at once. Those were always such special times in our family. Of course now my kiddos are rarely at the family gatherings with all the cousins since they are away at school or working, but such treasured memories that I know they will want to recreate with their own children! Have a blast!

  2. Hi D’Anne….
    I’m kind of like you. I really enjoyed raising my kids, even home schooled for as long as each one would let me (two went on to high school). We still have two at home, which is really fine with me and Dennis because they pay their own way through school, and both work. Plus, I like having them here. Neither is here all of the time…most of the time working…but we give each other space when we are all home. Dennis and I do whatever we want, even go out of town occasionally, and know that Sean and Jacen will take care of the dogs/house. AND…it was their idea for me and Dennis to go with them to HI…so there are some perks to having them here. They also take good care of me on occasion when I want to run errands before Dennis is home with the car.

    Anyway…happy for you. Enjoy this year with your youngest. My youngest graduated, got married and is taking care of a family now. And, like you, I’m just fine with him not living here anymore. I’ve seen him grow up a LOT! He has a good wife and sweet little boy, too.

    • I love hearing that your grown up boys still enjoy being with you, Laura! I so hope for that myself. I know y’all will have a great time in HI.

  3. Anne, I’m right behind you with an almost 13 and 16 yr old. And you’re so right – it IS such a joy and privilge to watch them grow and change!! They are so interesting to me now and make me laugh in ways they didn’t/couldn’t even as babies:) Blessings on your beautiful family. I can hardly wait till grandbabies – though I hope that’ll be awhile;)

    • I agree, Laura. My teens/young adults are so much more interesting now. In fact, I probably feel about them the same way most women feel about babies! Which makes me a wee bit nervous for grandchildren. I can honestly wait awhile for that stage. I want to enjoy hubby by myself for a while now!

  4. I’m right there with you, and I agree! The whole goal was to get them to these points with love and fun along the way.

    • So thankful to have a friend like you, Andrea! We’ll smile at each other all through next year!

  5. So far I haven’t really been sad when my kids left home. (After all that’s what I’ve been shooting for all these years, right?) Yet I wonder how I’ll handle it when the last one leaves. I can’t help thinking I’ll hug her goodbye, shed a few tears . . . then celebrate. 🙂

  6. I know this might sound weird, but I’m so proud of you. I’m not close to the lasts yet. Still conquering a few firsts. I have so much to learn from wonderful women like YOU.
    ~ Wendy

    • Thanks, Wendy! Enjoy it all–the firsts and the lasts! And while this stage of life will be missed, I know that there are many more good times to come. 🙂

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