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A First, Some Lasts, and Hitting My Stride

on October 30, 2012

It’s been an active and crazy fall at our house.  This is not a new thing really.  It happens every fall with the restart of school and all the activities that surround it. This year has been different, however.  This fall is our last fall in this house.  In this town.  At these schools.  It’s really rather weird when I stop to think about it and I’ve been trying to think about it as much as possible.  I want to savor the lasts.  Enjoy them. Remember them.  It’s a difficult balancing act: trying to enjoy the now while looking toward the future and wondering what it’ll be like at the same time remembering the past and feeling a bit wistful.  The last two weeks have been brought a slew of balancing and savoring for me. It’s kind of knocked me off my “stride” for a while.

As we do every year we finished cleaning up our yard for winter, bringing in the decorative things that would get ruined in the snow.  Normally those things get put in a tote and stored in the garden shed in our back yard.  This year was a little different.  We won’t be using those things here ever again so everything was brought in, cleaned and packed in a moving box.  My first moving box has been packed.  Weird but exciting at the same time.  I wonder what my birdhouses and stepping stones and garden figures will look like in our new yard?  They sure looked cute in this one. As I dumped the dirt from my trusty planters and flower pots, washed them and packed them I couldn’t help but smile thinking about all the flowers they’ve held at this house.  The color they’ve added to our yard. I hope there is a spot for them at the new one.

We attended the last home football game for the local public school.  As we bundled up and walked to the stadium located just a few blocks from our house I realized that it was the last time I would ever make that trip.  We’ve been walking to every home football game ever since our oldest son started suiting up for varsity six years ago.  After he graduated we went to cheer on his friends and our oldest daughter in the band.  This year: two daughters in the band.  Multiple Friday nights in fall walking to that stadium to watch and that night was our last walk to a game in this town.  I wondered what we’d be doing next fall on Friday nights.  Which stadium we’d be going to. Would we be able to walk there?  I guess time will tell but I made sure to savor that last home football game in the “home stands” in our current town.  I may be back to watch a game someday but I’ll be sitting on the other side.  I wanted to soak in the atmosphere, the sounds, the smells, the familiar feel.  It was no wonder I told my husband we didn’t need to leave early even though the team was leading by a lot and my feet were freezing.  I’ve spent a lot of time in those bleachers. Spending a few more for a final time seemed important at that moment.

The next day we traveled to watch what will most likely be the last band competition we will ever attend.  The school districts we are looking at for our youngest two children don’t compete in field marching competitions.  They still have band and march in parades and do halftime shows but it will be different. No traveling on Saturdays to watch them march.  No intense “we have to get a 1” pressure all fall.  As much as we’ve enjoyed the competitions I think I might be looking forward to that part: just band that is fun.  Because it was the only year our two girls will ever march together and the last year we will ever be involved in field marching competitions we wanted to make sure we made it to every competition.  We wanted to savor.  The last one was no exception.  We stayed the entire day and well into the night for the awards.  It was the last time.  We can attend again in the future but it will be different because our kids won’t be competing.   It was worth the long chilly day and the long drive home well into the night.  It was worth being tired the next day.  It won’t come along again.

This past weekend was the final musical our daughters will ever participate in at this high school.  The only one they will ever be in together.  Our oldest daughter’s last one ever.  Guess who made sure they were there? We “tag-team” attended this time: I went one night with grandparents, my husband went the next night after he got off work for the week. He got the bad end of that bargain.  He was the one who had to hug our crying daughter after the show.  He’s the one who had to find the right words to say. She’s well aware that we are hitting some last times too. This time next year she will be off at college and on to the next exciting chapter in her life. That is normal and a good thing.  The difference for her is that “home” will no longer be here.  It will have moved to a different town where she won’t be as excited to come back to attend things at the high school.  She won’t know that high school or its teachers or former students.  She’ll show up to support her siblings, but it won’t be the same for her.  She is busy doing her own savoring.

About this time of the year every year just as I feel I’m about to the end of my rope things slow down for a few weeks allowing me to regroup.  Regroup time is a good thing for me.  It’s a better thing for my family who has to put up with me.  After weeks of being too busy to do much more than cursory housework my irritability rises.  I begin to feel swamped and overwhelmed and my family starts to pay for it.  I’m not a pleasant person to be around when I’m in that state of mind. Everything starts to fall apart: the house, my exercise routine, my mood…you get the picture.  This year has been no exception.   In fact this year may have been worse with the added pressure of not wanting to miss anything and thinking about our impending move.  Thankfully I was able to regroup a little this weekend.  I had a day to throughly clean our home.  I purged some things in the process. I got back on track with my exercise routine.  Life seems a little less frantic and more under control again.  This is a good thing for both me and the poor people who have to live with me. My mood has improved as some order was restored to the chaos.  It’s just in time.

Our last holidays in this house are coming up and I intend to enjoy them as much as possible.  I want to be able to blend the nostalgia of past holidays with the excitement of what is to come next year while enjoying this year’s celebrations.  It’s a balancing act.  At least now I feel like I’m hitting my stride again.


6 responses to “A First, Some Lasts, and Hitting My Stride

  1. momshieb says:

    What a huge step to take! Good luck managing all of these changes!

  2. javaj240 says:


  3. Janelle says:

    Everything takes on such meaning when you are adding a farewell to the experience. I’m feeling some of that with my oldest son. He’ll be leaving home next year, and I struggle to balance just enjoying him with this internal spence of the clock ticking.

    • wedelmom says:

      It is a trick isn’t it? This is the second child we’ve sent off and it isn’t any easier this time. Probably harder because I realize now what a huge change it is. Add to that the fact that we are moving’s just a strange time in our lives. Not bad…just strange.

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