Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Firsts and Lasts

I may have said this before, but I believe that the great conundrum of parenting is that we miss the lasts. We are so focused on the next big thing, first tooth, first steps, first words, first day of school, that we miss the things that are slipping by, the last time she called me Mum-Mum, the last sloppy open-mouthed cheek kiss, the last tearful tickle smile, the last public hug, the last time I get to help pick her first day of school outfit.

Today was the first day of school for my Brynna. And the last first day of Montessori. The next first day will be in big kid school and the rules will be different, the clothes will be different, the stuff carried in will be different.

She didn't give me a goodbye kiss, but I think it's just because she was so excited she forgot. But, who knows, maybe the last day of school last year, was my last goodbye morning kiss. And I may have just missed it. Not realized how important it was. You can't live in fear of these things, but still...

She loves school. Like I loved school. She couldn't wait to go. She couldn't wait to get there. To run in and see her friends and her teacher and most importantly, if there were new works!! She is ready to go. Ready to work. Ready to learn. There was no fear, trepidation, concern, sadness, none. Just sheer, unfettered excitement and happiness. Soon, I'll go pick her up (there are only half days for the first week) and she'll be sad and upset to leave. At some point this year, I'll pick her up at school (which I only do rarely, because she goes to afterschool) and it will be the last time I ever pick her up at Montessori. And I may miss that, too.

Because you always believe there will be more. More sloppy open-mouthed kisses. More goodbye hugs. More days of fighting over whether or not it's appropriate to wear a short top with leggings. I want to say it's hard to let those days go, but the problem is that it isn't hard. It just happens, and one day you think, "Crap. When was the last time she slobbered all over my face when she kissed me?" And it's gone.

First days are the best. And she'll never realize that this was a last, too. I'm grateful for that. Grateful that this is a happy day for her, and a little grateful this is a bittersweet day for me. I may have missed the last day she looked too young for school, but I didn't miss the last first day.


enchanted forest said...

awww you are so right. we must cherish every last moment of mommyhood, not just the seemingly significant ones :-)

The Women's Colony said...

As the kids get older you do have a better grasp on the lasts because they're so big. Last high school water polo game, last dance, last time they "live" at home. I'm grateful that I get to do my lasts over a 10 year period.--Jenn