Christian’s first day of his senior year of high school.
Today I helped my son Christian write out graduation invitations and we ordered some of the food for his party. He graduates from Concordia Junior and Senior High School a month from tomorrow. I cannot quite wrap my head around the fact that my baby will be flying the coop soon.
As a look ahead to his graduation I cannot help but become reflective about lasts. In the fall was his last high school homecoming. In just over a week is his last prom. On the same day is our last high school sporting event, a weightlifting competition. We will soon pay our last bill for high school (although college bills still loom) probably for milk and lunch. In December was the last school Christmas concert.
Over the years there have been many lasts. Sometime we knew it was the last: the last time I nursed a baby, the last day of preschool, the last day of grade school, the last confirmation class.
Other time, though, we didn’t know something was last. The last time I pushed one of my children on the swing, I did not realize it and the moment slipped by only to be forgotten. I also do not remember the last time I held my children’s hands to walk across a street or through a parking lot. Sadly I do not remember the last time I put my arms around one of my children and lifted them up.
I am also reflective about firsts. I remember the first time I saw my oldest son as a newborn when he was whisked away to be examined. “That’s my baby!” I said excitedly as I strained my neck to see him. I remember the first time my younger son was laid upon my chest and I felt his warm little body next to my heart. I remember first days of preschool, kindergarten, junior high and high school. I remember the first Christmas, the first Halloween, and the first birthdays of my babies. I also remember the anxiety of first cars.
Between those firsts and lasts so much life has happened: ball games, school plays, friendships, laughter, and tears. Many, many other firsts. And many, many other lasts. And many in-betweens.
I look forward to much more life to come: college graduations and new jobs, weddings and grandbabies, and many more birthdays and holidays.
As I ponder first, lasts, and in-betweens, I am impressed with the importance of cherishing the moment. Every time I get to scratch a back or give a back rub to one of my now young adult sons, I relish it. When I have deep conversation with one or the other child, I savor it. When we pray around the table together, I am blessed by it. I never know when something will happen for the last time.
While as a parent I have both laughed and cried, I feel blessed to be called “Mom.” Psalm 127:3 says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Yes, I am blessed. I have two precious heritages from the Lord.