First Lasts

We’ve started the girls’ senior year in high school. It seems just yesterday that we were changing diapers and giving medicine and had them both in the bathtub at the same time. I remember those days when I wondered where on earth we would find the energy to make it one more hour. I remembering turning multiple pages of “The Lion King” just to make it through the 97 page book before I feel asleep! All that seems like yesterday…or maybe not!

There have been 17+ years that have passed since I stood outside that hospital door, waiting to see them for the first time. The years of high school seemed an eon from then. Eons seem to pass very quickly these days. And now we find ourselves talking about senior classes, college applications, senior pictures, transcripts, all things senior. And yes, it’s finally started. The first last thing.

There’s something in the Bible about the first being last and the last being first. I’m not sure this is what it meant. But we’re having a lot of first last’s around the Anthony household. Or is it last firsts? It’s the last first day of school. It’s the last first football game and marching at halftime. It’s the last first home game. It’s the last first week of school. It’s the first last year of high school. OK, I made that one up, but you get the picture. It’s a good thing, probably, that we have said a lot about it, because it’s kind of softened the blow of this last first thing. Jan doesn’t seem to tear up so quickly anymore.

Journeys are made up of beginnings and endings. The steps we take along the way are simply that, steps along the way. Sometimes during those steps folks come alongside us and we walk together for a time. Then the paths split, and those steps lead us along another path. For my girls, this stage of the journey is nearing a split. Their paths will take them to places only God has designed and can see. It is the beginning of the ending of the journey together as we know it; it will take different directions in less than a year. And it should be this way.

So, I will celebrate the first lasts. Or is it the last firsts? Either way, I have chosen to live this last year with my girls with exuberance and joy, living every moment I can in the moment. Sometimes they’ll be doing homework and I will be able to relax. Sometimes I will be called upon to do something unexpected. It might be the first something. It could be the last! Who knows? But I am making a conscious decision to celebrate the journey. And because your steps are part of my path right now, you get to celebrate it with me.

Are you ready? Let’s go…

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