INSIDE: A mother’s perspective looking back on the last time for everything related to her eleven-year-old daughter’s last day of school.
Brad Paisley may sing it best in his new song “Last Time for Everything”.
Last call, last chance
Last song, last dance
Sometimes you just don’t know when that’s gonna be
There’s a last time for everything
This feeling of the last time, really hit me this week.
My daughter is in fifth grade, well for two more days she is. After fifth grade, the kids move on to middle school and while there is great joy in growing up and moving onto more grown up things, there is sadness in the realization of that change.
So, when this last week of school came around we didn’t stop to pay attention to the “lasts” that were coming our way. I don’t know if I am thankful that I didn’t dwell on it or sad that I didn’t savor them. Right now, I am feeling a bit of both.
We both took particular notice of the fact that she won’t walk to school again until high school because they take a bus to middle school. And by then, she won’t want me to walk her to school. We both had an “oh my gosh” moment and basically lost our minds.
We are pretty close and the fact that she even wants me around is pretty telling of our relationship. Of course, she pushes me away and I get enough eye-rolls that if I got a dollar for each one, I’d be a millionaire, so don’t think that we are perfect.
However, we both value and treasure each other in ways I am so thankful for. And we give each other a LOT of grace.
Looking back, I should have been prepared for this, but I just wasn’t.
I was going through the motions and just trying to survive each day as it came, that I didn’t stop and enjoy the blessed moments and time as it was passing. Life was flashing before our eyes.
There is truth in the fact that being busy, means that you don’t have time to stop and smell the roses. There is no downtime and the craze to get from school, to activities, to eat, to another activity, to home, to bed…. is just chaotic and unnecessary.
However, I fear there is really no other way when there are three kids in three activities in one night. I just want one night a week at home, without the rush. I don’t think it’s possible, but I wish for it every day. Sorry, I digress, but MOMS you know what I am talking about. Right? (Please say you do so I know I am not the only one.)
So, back to my story. On Tuesday, we realized that we only had four more opportunities to experience THIS life in its current stage. It was an almost debilitating feeling.
Instead of wallowing in the sadness of that, I pushed my to-do list aside and walked her to school. My younger daughter tagged along on a scooter and my son went off with a friend. But my precious tween and I enjoyed this simple time together.
In that moment, we grabbed hands and did a little reminiscing, hoping, and loving. As she stepped forward, she looked back over her shoulder and I saw her as my sweet little girl.
Growing up before my eyes. The girl who can make me smile, cookies, and proud.
She is on the precipice of a wonderful life and I am so honored to be her mom.
But as she turned away I couldn’t help but think, things will never be like this, again.
I know that growing up is inevitable and I know that there are wonderful opportunities in front of her. Logically, I totally understand that.
But my heart. My heart is not ready to let THIS go. My heart breaks when she feels broken, battered, and bruised. My heart fills with joy when I hear her sing. My heart swells with pride when I see all she has accomplished in 11 years. My heart wants to rewind and go back to her being three years old making heart-shaped cookies just because we had time.
It amazes me that this one word carries so much weight with it.
And that is where the song really hits it home. “There’s a last time for everything.”
I don’t know when the last time I made cookies with her was. I don’t know when the last time we colored together was. I don’t know when the last time I read a picture book to her was.
I guess that is okay because it makes the memory of the lasts hurt a little less, but when we stop to think of them they pile up and hit you like a wave crashing on the shore during a hurricane.
So, please enjoy the lasts as much as the firsts. Take notes, take pictures, and take in all the feels. The love, pain, joy, sorrow, and humor of it all will be what lasts.
There are no happy accidents.