Yesterday was the first day of school.  The last first day of school that I will be with my daughter. Sigh.  The day started out the same as always.  I went to the corner store to get my daughter her traditional egg and cheese sandwich.  I fastened her necklace after she put on her new and carefully chosen outfit, I took her picture in front of my building, I shed a tear.  It was the picture that did it: I’ve taken her picture in the same spot in front of my building since she was in nursery school.  After I hugged her good bye and watched all walk towards the subway, I entered my building and looked at my doorman.  He just nodded his head: he’s seen me take this picture every year.  He knows the significance as much as I do.

Wow.

Where did the time go?

I was recently chatting with Shalini and Jo, and I regaled the fact that I have become the crazy woman in the market who tells parents with small children in tow to not blink, because before you know it, your kids will be all grown up.  I know from experience: I blinked.  So don’t blink…

What do I mean by this?  Make time for memories.  Make time to do things that are just for fun.  Have traditions.  Take pictures. Build a relationship with your child.

I realize I an the most structured person in the world: I have a schedule and a procedure for everything. I’m a stickler for homework and completing what you started and being a good team player.  I taught her rules and responsibilities.    But I also let my daughter jump in puddles just to see her smile as the water splashed up.  I let her use play doh in the living room, and dealt with the mess.  We built lego forts in the middle of the living room, sang really badly, had game tournaments and Mommy/Daughter outings.  We lived and experienced and enjoyed. And because I have a head full of memories, I am reasonably OK about the future.  (I say reasonably because there is a 33% chance that I will follow her to college and move across the street and stick a GPS chip in her arm while she’s asleep) I truly believe I am going to let her move out…

Remember that the job of a parent is to raise a self sufficient adult.  We’ve done our job if they are able to join the world and leave us behind.  Our job is to push them out of the nest. So when you shed a tear as you watch their back walk away, remember that this is good, that this is what is supposed to happen.  And know that they love you even if they’re looking at you through the rear view mirror.  They see you- they’re still looking- they know you have their back if things go south. They know how much you love them.

Remember the good times.  Laugh about the bad (you can laugh- it’s in the past) Wave good bye for now.  It’s OK.  They’re in your head and in your heart.  And you will always be in theirs.

 

66 thoughts on “The Last First Day of School

  1. I imagine it being harder, with only 1 child, because everything is and will always be the first/last. That’s almost too much to handle. With 3 it was a slower transition to the final last, and that one was the hardest which surprised me a bit as I had already practiced with her siblings. In anticipation of what this year will bring for you and how next summer leading up to the college move will go, I’m sending along a few hugs in advance… {{{ 😦 }}}

    Liked by 1 person

  2. just wait until they get married and start having wee ones. I was 22 when my oldest was born and 24 when my youngest was born. I get where you are coming from tho. they’re in their 30’s now and I still miss listening to them bicker back and forth.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. My last years of tears were years ago, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss every year of school with my kids. Now my grandkids are the ones walking off to school. Before you know it they will be out of high school too. Keep the tears coming.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Sweet post. I thought a lot about getting ready for our current school year. My oldest is in college. My son is a junior in high school and had his second to the last first day of school. Time goes way too fast!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. OH gosh! Thanks for the tears this morning! LOL! A beautiful post! I also have a treasure of memories that I am so grateful for, but I already cry when I think of next year as my youngest will be a Senior. Wonderful wishes to you and your daughter for making the most of her Senior year!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Awww this made me tear up. I remember that day, that feeling, and the lump in my throat filled with mixed emotions of that first last day with each of my sons. Oh, the feeling of being a mom when our children move on their way to adulthood… it’s bittersweet. I wept when both my boys left for college. It’s all so difficult. You’ll get through it, but it won’t be without tears or easy. But you’ll survive.

    if it helps any, this week my 29 year old (My youngest) who is now grown and working as an assistant director in the film industry, and living in another state, called to ask me for some “Mom” advice about a young lady he’s smitten with. He called me Mommy again. He never calls me Mommy unless he’s sick or heartbroken. My point being, is that now and then they need us. Even when they are all grown up. My oldest calls about his children and asks for advice. At some point the rebellion stops and they value us just as much as they did when they were little.
    Motherhood is a strange ride. We nurture and love our children unconditionally. Then we let them go. But thankfully, every now and then they return, proving how well we raised them.

    Hang in there. This is the hardest part that you’re going through now. When the doctor handed us our babies, we never could have imagined all motherhood entailed. And we sure weren’t prepared for the little things to grow up on us!
    Take care. Sniff…. your post made me cry…. in a good way. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you!! You’re right…no one tells you what parenting is all about, the ups and downs, the joy and heartbreak! Best and hardest job in the world! I wouldn’t change a moment of it!❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Just a warning LA take tissue for any and all school events she is in, even if it seems frivolous right now. If you are the type of mom I am and I think you are, you will tear up during them. I did for my 19 yr old. And don’t get me started on the big day. I cried on my walk home after her big day. I made it until then because I didn’t want her to see the tears but once I left her to her friends for the festivities the faucet started. And I’m an ugly crier lol I hate crying and she knows it. But there it is. TISSUES! This will be a year of tissues. lol

    Liked by 2 people

  8. it sounds like you have been a good mom and raised a good girl. No one gets a rule book on how they are supposed to raise a daughter. We just do the best we can, make mistakes, make up for the mistakes, hug them lots, and hope for the best. I have already told my daughter I am going to live on a roll-out bed under her dorm room bed when she goes away to college some day!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Amen x infinity! You’re going to be gut wrenched this time next year, but you’re also going to remember everything you wrote today. And everything you taught each other. It’s the most beautiful of all the crap things about being a parent. I am proud for, and awed by you. My heart is hugging yours so tightly! You’ve got this! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You don’t think of this when you are pregnant, through the toddler years, through the tough times. You don’t realize, it’s almost a secret, that we are only going to be together for such a short time and then they’re gone, just like we did to our parents. I hope y’all have a great senior year !

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh my heart hurts! The last first day of school! I’m dreading that moment but I am so excited for the experiences that my children will be having. They will trade that last first day of school for their first day at college, their first day as a wife or a husband, and their first day as a parent. I’m looking forward to those days too.
    Great post and very well written.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We always took first day photos in front of the same tree in the front yard from primary to grade 12. This was the first year I didn’t have a first day photo or a move in day at university. Memories are good.

    Liked by 1 person

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