The First Last

The First Last

Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down…seriously.  DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince may think unexpectedly relocating to Bel-Air would rock your world, but that’s nothing compared to your kids growing up on you.  Here I am minding my own business, then all the sudden, out of the clear blue sky, I blinked—and my kids went from boys to men.  Just a year ago my husband and I sent our Valedictorian son, Griffin, off to college; we’ll be moving him into his new apartment to begin his sophomore year this weekend.  I’ve seen many Facebook posts recently of people who are in the same boat as we are.  My friend first 1Anna even shared an article entitled 6 Reasons Why Moms Cry When They Leave Their Kids at College.  I can relate.  I’m that mom.  #NoShame.  Then, as if the maternal emotional roller coaster of having one out of the nest and flying solo wasn’t enough to keep Kleenex in business, it happened—the first last.  The local schools are back in session and our youngest son, Dalton, entering his senior year, had his last first day of high school.  And, so it begins…the first of many lasts we’ll have this year.

To commemorate this last first day, we planned the traditional off-to-school-in-the-morning photo op.  But, with our current incurable case of Olympic Fever at the Brown Bungalow we went with the untraditional, yet now classic, #PhelpsFace.  I’m laughing, but deep down I know this picture represented our very first last for our Senior and something about that made me want to truly remember it.  I think we nailed it; what do you think?

first 2This Friday night will be the last first football game of the season followed soon after by the last first cheerleading practice.  Yes, my son is a football player AND a varsity cheerleader.  If that doesn’t scream 2016, I don’t know what does!  Our renaissance man is the adorable and not-so-shy guy seen center stage in this cheerleading pic doing what he says, “is the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Certainly, many lasts will make me melancholy, but not all of them!  The last essay, the last cafeteria lunch, the last homework assignment, the last test—they all give us reason to long for something bigger, something better.  Those are the lasts that catapult us to our next destination.  In an effort to continually improve some things must end for new endeavors to begin.  And, that’s as it should be.

first 3The Community Foundation Team can really relate to this feeling right now as well.  We are giddily happy to announce the last of the donation dumpsters in the City of Marion!  Yes, you read that right…the donation dumpsters that we researched and wrote about here nearly a year ago will soon be leaving the highways, byways, and parking lots our awesome city!

This was a year-long project with our top-notch team serving as:first 4

  1. Stealthy Paparazzi taking pictures of unsightly dumpsters and the truckers who hauled the donations away, out of our town, away from our local non-profits who could have used them wisely to benefit our neighbors.
  2. Nerdy Researchers who drilled down into the depths of the Internet to find out that the true purpose of these dumpsters wasn’t charitable at all, but really a for-profit racket.
  3. Secret Shoppers visiting businesses to inform them about the deceitful dumpsters and ways to get rid of them.
  4. Super Citizens working with Code Enforcement Officer Kenny Hussong and his Board to create an ordinance which will rid our city of 100% of those pesky donation dumpsters by the end of September. Thanks, Kenny!  A copy of the ordinance the Council passed is here in case you know of a community with donation dumpster problems and you, too, would like to feel a bit like the Erin Brockovich of your hometown sometime soon.   We highly recommend it!
  5. Proud Americans as we spoke to the Common Council with the City of Marion and got to experience the thrill of a unanimous vote to enact said ordinance. We weren’t technically on the podium receiving an Olympic gold medal, but it really did feel just that awesome!

In the big scheme of things, when I ponder the reality of all of these firsts and lasts, I feel grateful more than anything.  I’ve had enough amazing firsts that the lasts play a symphony with my heartstrings.  Every first.  Every last.  Every beginning.  Every ending.  They all add up to just enough.  And that reminded me of a poem I’ve been wanting to share with you by Bob Perks called, I Wish You Enough.  It goes like this:first 6

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Goodbye.”

We all have highs and lows, successes and failures, beginnings and endings, firsts and lasts; but ultimately we just need that balance to be enough.  I wish Griffin enough.  I wish Dalton enough.  I wish Grant County enough. And, yes, friends, I wish you enough as well. 

  • Sherri
    Posted at 15:23h, 18 August Reply


  • Bonnie webb
    Posted at 15:46h, 18 August Reply

    Spent the day with Griffin & loved it. I didn’t let him see me cry but boy was that hard. 😢😢😢they grow up way to fast. ❤️

    • Tempadmin
      Posted at 17:25h, 18 August Reply

      I think he just gets used to me crying when he leaves! 🙂 Thanks, Mom!

  • Georgette
    Posted at 18:07h, 18 August Reply

    🙂 I know exactly what you mean. Reflecting back, I know I didn’t appreciate all the firsts, nor the lasts, near enough. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly enjoyed, reflected, cheered, sobbed, …. but 11 years after my first born has graduated high school, it sure gets you to thinking that your time is going quicker and quicker and you need to soak all these times up even more than you have in the past! Now my first grandchild started kindergarten 2 weeks ago. Whew! More first lasts and last firsts. {{Hugs!!}} from a friend who understands, all too well!

    • Tempadmin
      Posted at 11:56h, 29 August Reply

      I guess it’s just a good reminder that there are always plenty of firsts and lasts and we need to be more present when they are happening and remember those treasured moments forever…I know you have many treasured moments and many more to come. Holy cow, kindergarten is a whole new world! Enjoy, my friend!

  • dawn darga
    Posted at 08:27h, 19 August Reply

    PERFECT Dawn, this is just exactly how it feels to let those beautiful children grow into their future – amazing – lives! YOU are a wonderful Momma!

    • Tempadmin
      Posted at 11:53h, 29 August Reply

      It must be our name, Dawn, because I happen to think you are a pretty terrific mom, too! Thanks for reading!

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