When It’s the End of the Firsts


back to schoolI started back to school shopping in full force this week.  I love back to school supplies and shopping. Like they say in the movie “You’ve Got Mail,” fall makes you want to buy a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils.  

My daughter and I have started earmarking catalogs, choosing her new lunch box, and picked a date to do her clothes shopping.  She is only in preschool, but the rituals live on from my own school days, and I love (and laugh) while watching her choose her own outfits.

My youngest, my son, is starting preschool. I always think of him as the easy one. Whatever I pick out, he has always put on and seemed happy enough with. I took him to pick out a lunch box, and when I gently suggested a navy and green option, he pushed it away and shouted, “NO! Cars is MINE!” When did he develop such strong opinions about a movie he has never even seen?

It got me thinking, though – is this the beginning of the end of all the firsts? With my daughter, I felt nothing but excitement for her firsts. I couldn’t push her out the door fast enough for her first day of preschool. I signed her up for every activity and said yes to every play date. How will I feel once my son has his last first day of school? I know I should be excited about him growing and making his own memories, but I can’t help but feel a little sad. He is already so much more independent than she was.  He is so determined to keep up with everything his older sister does, but it has also robbed me of a little bit of the baby time.

Already my daughter is talking about Pre-K next year and her new school, but she hasn’t even started this year yet.  I remember the years of wishing for the next phase and just working for what is next, but having two toddlers who are rapidly developing lots of independent opinions and interests has made me sentimental. I want to bottle these little smiles, snuggles, and whispers of, “You are my best friend, Mommy,” because I know these moments are fleeting.

I’m not sure if we will have another child, so this time around, I’m trying to savor it all a little bit more – soak in the last of the baby smells and the moments where Mama can fix it all. And of course, getting the perfect “First Day of School” picture.



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