Today was the last day of school at our house.
The shelves were emptied and dusted. Desktops were tidied.
The pens were put back in the cups.
I even emptied the pencil sharpener.
Over the past month, I’ve been slowly going through the books and shelves. Eliminating all of the curriculum and extras that would no longer be needed. Boxes are full of sale items, ready to be moved out.
There have been a lot of lasts lately. I’m uncharacteristically, seriously, way early prepared for the fall— our last year. With my last child. I just wanted to make sure I had a plan. A good one.
This week I ordered curriculum. Another last.
It made me feel a bit sad.
It is sort of hard to explain to people, feeling sad. We are too quick to rush in and comfort each other. Filling the void with words and promises of encouragement. (you can tweet that)
I started thinking that is is OK to be sad a bit, and just own it. Reflect on it.
After educating these girls for so many years…after so very many “firsts”…this season of life just naturally holds “lasts”.
It isn’t the sort of lingering pain that prevents function. It doesn’t mean I don’t delight in the hope of my girls future. Or that I refuse to cherish their adulthood.
I’ve just had the deepest pleasure of holding them close for their childhoods. And now, it is time to see the fruit of the efforts. That is a good thing.
It is in these seasons that God often has special lessons for us. Things we might miss otherwise.
My aunt gave me jars a few years ago filled with glass pebbles. One for each month, for each year, for each girl, until they left for college (or their own homes). Every month the pile grew smaller.
It was a reminder to live in the moment. To not miss the time in front of us. A wonderful gift.
I recounted the pebbles today as I cleaned off my desk. An accurate count was necessary.
A feeble attempt was made to explain bittersweet to my teen.
Being sad does NOT mean a lack of joy about the future. It simply means a true appreciation for what you have. Have had. And a reluctance to say goodbye.
And for a mother’s arms, bittersweet just is part of the journey. Of course, a young person can’t yet understand that sort of thing.
So own the sadness when it comes. Recognize what it is about. Change what you can and ride out the rest.
These lasts? They are simply the first steps of the new pathways to a lifetime of NEW firsts.
That is exciting.