As you navigate through life, your experiences can be categorized into many different categories. Two categories in particular are the firsts and the lasts in your life as it all begins with your first and your last breath in this world and around this time in particular, many parents are nervously looking on as their children embark on either their next first or last in regards to school.
First day of school, first day of middle school, first day of high school, first day of college; they are each such big moments in not only your children’s life but yours. Then, once you reach the last day of each of these milestones, you start wishing for things to slow down or go backwards even as you witness your baby grow into a fine young man or woman ready to enter the “real world.”
As we approach the beginning of yet another school year, you may be nearing another first or last with your children. Whether it’s one or another, don’t try to just downplay it, especially if your child is excited about it. Take a picture of them or with them if they ask. Match their excitement even! They are going to remember this moment for a long time and wouldn’t you rather be part of the memory than a negative imprint on it? The last is symbolic and so satisfying, but the first is just as important. Don’t skip out on the beginning to wait at the end. How you start is pivotal to the outcome of your journey and being there allows you to support your child all the way through!
In this same manner, just as you should be there at the beginning, you need to also be there at the end in a supportive manner matching the excitement levels of your children. Don’t look at it dreading what comes next because at some point, there will come a day when your child leaves your home and goes off into the world on their own. Don’t be too busy wishing for time to slow down or for your baby to return back to an infant in your arms and miss a moment that you should be unbelievably proud of. Hold them, cry with them, but in the end express to them just how proud you are because that last day, whatever it may be, won’t mean the end of firsts in your lives together.
There will come a day when your child welcomes into the world their own kid. Then, you get to sit back and watch your child go through all of the same feelings as you did watching them grow up because what’s life but just a bunch of firsts and lasts.