I have read many articles about lasts. Last time I gave my baby a bath because they got big enough to do it themselves. The last time that I nursed my beautiful offspring. With children aged 14, 5.5 and 4, I have had my fair share of those. But, I don’t think that any article I have read to date, has prepared me for the lasts that I would experience as my oldest became a teenager.
Something that many of you may not know is that my oldest is actually my step-daughter. I have always treated her as if she was my own flesh and blood. I have attended all school events since she was 5. I have been there when she cried because of a scrapped knee and iced her arm after being pummeled by a softball. I was there for her first day of middle school and her last day of middle school. I will be there on her first day of high school as we both cry for the beginning of a new chapter.
As far as she, myself and my husband are concerned, she is my daughter.
Middle School Blues
Up until the end of her 7th grade year, I helped her with her hair each morning. I know I was fortunate for it to last that long, but I was so thankful for that time with her. Now, I still help with the special occasion hair-dos and the more complicated things like French and dutch braids. However, those are few and far between these days. Do I remember the EXACT last day that I helped her with her hair in the morning? No, I don’t know the day of the week or even the month. All I know is that as we prepared for her 8th grade year, it dawned on me.
She is now 14. Her last day of 8th grade was a mere 6 weeks ago. Reality is setting in.
She will officially be an adult in less than four years. FOUR YEARS! How does the time go by so quickly?
I attended her last ever middle school band performance with excitement and sadness. I watched her go into the school as an 8th grader, only to have her return home to me an official Freshman.
Her middle school years have been filled with many tears. Tears of joy and tears of heartache. I have seen her friendships change and evolve. Some friends have moved away. Some have simply changed groups. It has been a blessing to watch her navigate this time in her life. She has even taught me a few things about friendships. Despite the lasts that are inevitable, there are several firsts too. Her friends come in our door and yell, “Mom, we’re home!” Melts my heart every time.
The End of One Season Signals the Beginning of a New One
I have taken these last three years for granted and pray that in the hustle and bustle of these fleeting years, my husband and I have managed to instill in her, healthy morals and values. That we have adequately prepared her for the next phase of her life that is high school. I pray that we have lifter her up and fostered a confidence that is unshakable by the cruel world in which we live. I know all too well that tomorrow is never promised. I learned that lesson early in my childhood. As I am saddened by the closing of this chapter, I am elated to begin the next.
So today I say, go baby girl. Spread those wings and live your high school career to the fullest. I love you and have faith that you will continue to do big, big things.