Last month, I attended Daughter’s high school guitar concert.  She performed in two works with her advancing guitar class, and a trio with her two best friends ( a song that they wrote).  As I sat snapping pictures and videos, a realization came to me: this would probably be the last musical concert my daughter would ever appear in. For senior year, guitar is, I think, her fourth choice of an elective- she just wants other things more. I had a brief flashback to the very first holiday concert in kindergarten, the first recorder concert in third grade, and now, Junior year, the last concert.

Wow.

And them I thought of an outing back in April.  We had always attended the Brooklyn Botanic Garden cherry blossom festival as a family.  Until last year.  The festival is usually the last week of April, and by daughter was unable to go last year because she had too much studying for the AP World exam.  Similar to this year when she couldn’t go because she had too much studying for this years AP’s.  And next year, when she will again have too much studying for AP exams.  When we went to cherry blossoms a few years ago, I didn’t realize that it was the last time we would go as a family.

Wow.

I’ve spent 16 1/2 years documenting firsts: tooth, haircut, school, performances.  Now I’ve reached the other side: time to start documenting lasts.  The problem is, sometimes you don’t realize that something is the “last”.  In your mind you keep thinking that something will last forever, but we all know, nothing lasts forever.

I still remember taking my daughter to pre school for the first time. I shed a little tear as her tiny pink clad body walked up the steps to our local elementary school.  In September, I will photograph my daughter for the first day of school, in her carefully curated outfit, her tennis racket and backpack by her side. Thirteen years later, I will shed another tear. Or more likely, buckets of them.  Because I know it will be the last first day of school that I will be there to document.

Kids grow up too fast.  Life goes by too fast. I know I’m being totally maudlin and clichéd, but really appreciate things as they are happening.  Remember the sight, the smell, the feel, the sound of things you experience.  Hold tight to the feeling.  It’s moments like these that make tough times a little better.  It’s moments like these that make you persevere. It’ moments like these that make up a well lived life.

 

48 thoughts on “Nothing Lasts Forever

  1. Oh thank God! I’m not alone in these feelings. Yesterday we got my son’s report card,some other paper work,and the list of whats what for senior year. Then the oddest thing happened. There was a lump in my throat. I was fighting back tears. The thought,”but we just brought him home from the hospital” ran thru my mind. It went to fast

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      1. Yeah. Just think of the adventures they’ll have(after grad) My first taste of freedom it took me a week to realize I didn’t need to be home by 5pm.

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  2. This made me cry because I am documenting the firsts right now. But I know someday she will grow up.

    Lasts are hard. I look back at all the lasts with Bryon, not knowing they were going to be lasts. Life is so bittersweet like that.

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      1. I hear you. Mine wasn’t a picnic and needless to say, I haven’t spoken to mine since before my husband died. She hasn’t even tried to see her granddaughter. Her choice, her loss.

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  3. Glad to see I’m not alone in these feelings. Other people who have commented also are in the same boat. Last year was my son’s last music concert, he played sax. I have pictures and videos too, thinking they were his last but not having it sunk in at that point. We use to attend the Apple Blossom festival together, watch fireworks and the concert then go to the parade the next day. He joined Air Cadets 5yrs ago and has walked in the parade every year since, carrying the name sign for a town crier while in his cadet uniform. We don’t get to sit and watch the parade together anymore. Now he’s in high school and also taking AP classes, finally classes he’s not board in but it does take up his time studying at home when we use to hang out together. Time does fly, and I think it flies too fast. We need to keep doing what we’re doing and cherish every moment we can with our children. My son has a school inservice today, we’re going out for brunch, a time I will cherish. Thanks for sharing and letting me know I’m not alone.

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    1. You are in very good company!! When you have a child, you often forget that your job is to make them into self sufficient adults. So when they start to become self sufficient adults, it crushes your heart just a little bit, even though you’re proud

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  4. Oh the poignancy of passing time! Sadly, I don’t have children of my own but get a good share of my partner’s and his beautiful granddaughters. Can’t believe how quickly they move through the stages of their life. Me too! Am trying to spend less time thinking about what I haven’ t had and more time valuing the good I have/had.

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  5. I feel you! There are 10 and 8 years between our oldest two and our youngest so when the first two were having their “lasts” it didn’t seem like a last to me since I knew I still had a long way to go. When our youngest started to go through the “lasts” it was a totally different story. Earlier this month she graduated COLLEGE and I was crying hard enough to make up for all those other times! Guess time really does fly when you’re having fun!

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