One of my favorite poems, Cascando by Samuel Beckett, includes the phrase, "there is a last even of last times." Today, I am incredibly aware of another truth: There is a last even of first times.
Mary starts her senior year in high school today. Those of you who have loved me for years know what that means ... the annual "first day of school" photo will soon pop up in your email.
Last time, folks. Last first.
For the rest of you, let me explain. Ever since Kate started kindergarten, Tom and I have been among the millions of parents taking photos on the first day of school. We could have just printed the pics, framed them and called it a day. But, where's the fun in that? Instead, I emailed multiple photos to everyone who had ever met the girls, assuming they'd be thrilled.
I mean, heck. We're talking the cutest children ever born. How could you not be thrilled?
For the first few years, it was just Kate in the photos. Then, Kate and Mary, all decked up with new backpacks and eager to go to class. Those first years, the photo frenzy continued from our house all the way to elementary school.
Flash forward to junior high. High school. It was harder to get them to pause for the camera. Almost impossible to get them in the same frame.
Then, whoosh! Kate had the audacity to grow up and go off to college -- out of reach of even my zoom lens. And, for some reason, she refused to take a photo of herself on the first day of school and email it to me so I could forward it. (Yes. I seriously made that request. I do not let go easily.)
So, for the past few years, it's just been Mary -- who may groan and grimace this morning as she runs out to her car, but she will also stop and grin for the camera. Because she's a good kid. And she knows that celebrating firsts, and lasts, is important.
To all of you who have helped send Kate and Mary off to school for the past 15 years, thank you. You have done more than share our joy. You have doubled it.
P.S. I'll post the official "last first" pic here once I have it. You're all part of the family now. No reason why anyone should escape ...