Do you remember the children’s book Very First Last Time? It was a favorite of ours when my kids were small. We read it aloud quite often. I’ve been thinking about that book the last few days. The storyline goes like this: Eva, an Inuit girl, lives along Ungava Bay in northern Canada. In the winter, her people search for mussels along the bottom of the seabed. Although Eva has often joined her mother on these searches, today is the very first day she’s climbing down through the ice hole by herself.
My very first last time is not as dramatic as Eva’s, it’s just pretty emotional. Last week I paid the last tuition to the co-op for the class my youngest son is taking. The countdown has begun. Oh the phases of parenting.
The countdown technically began 24 years ago, when my first child was born. Life is a series of events and situations that you go through. Some good, some not so much, but each day brings new things to deal with.
We homeschooled all three of our kids, all through their schooling years. My oldest two have graduated and moved on to other things. My youngest will graduate high school in a few short weeks. The co-op all three of my kids attended has provided many fulfilling classes, events and relationships along the way for each of them, myself included, and that is coming to an end.
I knew this day was coming. I even wrote a post about it, Back to (Home) School, at the beginning of the school year. I just didn’t think it would get here so fast. And yet…it did.
This is a bittersweet time, it really is. I am excited that I will no longer be in charge of my kids’ formal education. I’m excited too, for the new things that are opening up for my child, and looking forward to the ones he will choose, watching him grow and change all the while. But on the other hand, it is over. My kids are grown. My baby is no longer a baby, nor has he been for many years.
I’m a sentimental old fool, in case you haven’t noticed. I countdown every milestone that comes our way. This one’s been a long time in the making but it is finally upon us.
I will embrace it for what it is…this very first last time.