Though there’s a lot of living in between, it’s often life’s ‘firsts’ and ‘lasts’ that we remember and cherish the most.
A baby’s first cry, first crawl, first tooth, first taste of food, first step, first birthday, first words. A child’s first bike ride without training wheels, first loose tooth, first day of kindergarten, first soccer game, first sleepover. A teenager’s first time behind the wheel, first prom, first date, first kiss, first job, first college acceptance letter. An adult’s first promotion, first year of marriage, first home, first child.
Then there are lasts. Last night in a crib, last baby tooth, last time in a booster seat, last day of summer camp, last time with a friend before he moves away, last End of Grade test, last varsity football game, last prom, last day of high school, last day of vacation, last family dinner before moving away to college. Last look around a first home. Last day of work before retirement.
My heart was a little heavy last week as we experienced a first and a last with our sweet boy, Brooks. I know he’s mature enough to begin his life away from me, but it sure is hard to let go, even the littlest bit.
Wednesday was a big day for us. It was the day of kindergarten registration which is completely mind-boggling. I feel like a cartoon character whose mouth is hanging open and someone needs to come by and pop it back into place. I just can’t believe it’s already time for kindergarten. Where in the world did the last five years go?
For Brooks, it was his very first time walking into his soon-to-be elementary school, the school where he will learn multiplication tables, skin his knees, laugh in the cafeteria, make lifelong friends, develop his first crush.
As we sat there and listened to the principal and teachers talk about his new school and all of the exciting experiences that await the rising kindergarteners, I found myself growing excited for him. He’s ready to move on from preschool, so I must be there for him. I will for sure shed some tears this fall as he begins this new adventure, but I will try my hardest not to let him see me do it.
Also on Wednesday was his last preschool program. His preschool puts on several programs throughout the year. They are so much fun, and the kids always do a wonderful job. This program was called Spring Sharing, and the theme was Down on the Farm. The kiddos had practiced their songs for weeks, and were like little Broadway stars.
As I laughed and smiled the night of the show, a little part of me was sad. Brooks and his classmates looked so tall and mature as they stood in the back doing exactly what they were supposed to while some of the toddlers wallered around up front or yelled out for Mommy. The contrast between Brooks’s class and the little ones was a visual reminder that he’s ready to graduate preschool, but again, it’s not easy to accept.
When Brooks was born, the first three months seemed like an eternity. He tried to win the award for most colicky baby, and I stumbled through those early days of motherhood, exhausted and unsure of anything I did. Now all of a sudden, he’s five and it’s time for him to begin a new phase in his life.
No one said being a mom was easy, but I always thought the rough times would be the hardest. As I sit here and type this, I’m starting to think it’s the exact opposite. I can deal with tantrums, leaky diapers, loud car rides, sleepless nights, and sibling fights.
It’s the special times that bring tears to my eyes and make my heart ache with happiness and pride. So as my sweet boy journeys to kindergarten and begins a new chapter in his life, I will be his biggest cheerleader and his toughest coach. I will try to absorb as many moments as I possibly can because it really does all go so quickly, and I’m not planning on missing a bit of it.