Firsts and Lasts

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We are in the two weeks leading up to my son’s high school graduation. Things are getting a little sentimental around here. He just received the senior superlative for the person most ready for high school to end. And this comes as no surprise. Ever since he decided on a college, that’s been in the forefront of his mind. He’s eager for the next phase, and we are excited for him.

It seems like only yesterday I was tracking his “Firsts” in his baby book. Notably, I even recorded the first time he threw up at 18 months (this before his bout with salmonella at age 2)! Each milestone was significant: the first tooth, first haircut, first steps, first words.

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Baby’s Firsts

And now I feel I’m tracking his “lasts.” He was recently home sick for a day, and I altered my day to be around the house — because you only have one last sick day.

Tomorrow night we will watch Survivor together for the last time as this season concludes. This has been a family tradition — we’ve seen every episode. And now the tradition ends.

We’ve had other “lasts” through the school year. The last football game. This picture was senior night and the last game of the regular season. In one of the final plays of the game, he tore his labrum in his shoulder. It wasn’t a typical tear, but one the doctor didn’t even had a code for; to repair it would require damaging other parts to get to it. The question was, “So how much do you want to use your shoulder the rest of your life?” We took the physical therapy route. Each “last” has a story, another picture of God’s faithful care.

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His dad was traveling and regretted missing this!

When they are young, people tell you to enjoy the days as they will pass so quickly. Yet our minds have no framework to fully receive that wisdom! But it was true. The days were long, and the years were short.

With the firstborn especially, I was learning and making mistakes that if I could start over, I would try to do differently. And yet, we fall on God’s grace and seek His help and mercy in this wonderful, joyous, thrilling adventure called parenting. God knows I was unaware of so many things, and yet I have hope in Him that He can make all things new, redeem, and provide.

The journey isn’t over, but this next phase is ending. I rejoice in the “lasts” as I did in the “firsts,” though I may find a few tears in my eyes on these occasions.

To Will — you are so deeply loved and a complete joy to us. We rejoice in who you are and in who God made you to be. We pray you will love and follow Jesus and reflect Him in this world. We pray you will know and love God’s Word. We pray that the unseen will be more real to you than the seen. We trust God will lead you and protect you every day, and we release you with joy to the future God has for you. And we will cheer for you every step of the way. We love you.

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