First of the First

I have been hearing for the past few years about the first of the last once your kids become seniors in high school. Walker has been looking at colleges for the past few months. It is overwhelming to say the least. He has worked hard his entire school career and has been looking forward to this step for a long time.

Fall season sports and activities have almost come to a close and for some it will be the last time they will be playing among their friends on the soccer team. This is no different for Walker. I try not to think of it as the first of the last but instead the first of the first.

When they were little we celebrated first steps, first foods and first teeth. Why does it have to stop there. It may be the last time they are doing high school things but it is also the first time they will be experiencing other things for the first time. I am trying to not mourn the first of the last but celebrate the first of the first.

For the first time I see him managing and multi-tasking deadlines, applications and schedules. All part of adulthood. I watch and he is navigating it better than I could imagine. Though I don’t put my kids on a pedestal they do make me proud. It’s for that reason I encourage them to reach for their dreams. I never want them to wonder…. what if? They can at least say I tried. I don’t want them to give up on their dreams. Too many kids and even adults have their dreams squashed by someone who didn’t believe in them.

So this mom is going to continue to celebrate the first of all the firsts and not think about the first of the last. Nothing is ending for these kids… it’s just the beginning of wonderful things to happen for each of them.

Walker turns 17…

RHS Powder Puff Competition – Jr. vs. Sr. classes

Every year the junior and senior class of the high school girls team up to compete against each other in the powder puff game in the Fall. The boys of the corresponding classes then become the cheerleaders. This year did not disappoint. The game ended in a tie which nearly never happens. Below are some of my favorites from the game and half-time show.

I love that both my kids were able to participate in this tradition in different capacities. Peyton helped with the band in the stands and Walker…. well he was one of the cute pink cheerleaders for the senior girls.

Due to the EEE virus threat here in Connecticut and surrounding states the game was moved to Friday afternoon instead of Thursday night with the bond fire. I am thankful they still were able to play and combined it with the PEP rally scheduled at the school. Whether you were a spectator or a participant the game was charged with excitement and good sportsmanship. It is always nice to see so many kids come together for a good time and show pride in their school.

First of the Last …

Ever since Walker started high school a few years ago I started to hear the phrase “the first of the last”. I have been dreading it as it is such an emotional time for parents and the kids.

As much as I enjoyed them being little and witnessing them experiencing things for the first time I tried to never wish little forever. Each phase brings something new experiences and adventures to their personality. Each stage of their lives bring new and exciting things. I get it… but it’s the main reason why we need to embrace what time is in front of us and just enjoy them every step of the way.

Walker plays soccer as well as lacrosse. I have been to every game because I can and because I want to. I consider myself lucky that I have that opportunity. I have heard other parents say… I don’t feel the need to go to every game. Well that is fine and good but passing on judgement to those that do is not okay. Fine for you but not for me. I know all too well these days are numbered and I will probably not see him play soccer in college. It just may not be feasible to attend games or he may not even play at the college level.

So now is the time he is looking at colleges and possibilities of his future. Big decisions on the horizon. Though I don’t put my kids on a pedestal I do encourage them to reach for their dreams. Walker is the type of kid that doesn’t shy away from a challenge. In reality he gravitates towards them and takes them on full force. Because of that we have looked at a variety of schools. I wanted to show him large universities to small liberal arts. He liked them all and found that he could make any of them work. There was one that was above all the rest…. Unites States Naval Academy. We took the trip down to Maryland to see for ourselves what the life of a midshipmen would be. We attended a briefing that gave a little insight into the day in the life at the academy. It was regimented, grueling and scary all at the same time. We were able to see formation of the midshipmen before lunch. I asked him, “So… what do you think”? His response, “I love it”. Again he isn’t shying away from the challenge.

Here are just a few of the schools he applied to. Some of them a reach but that is okay. You never know unless you try and I give him credit for at least trying.