A long time ago, when Kayleigh was little, I subscribed to parenting magazines. I thought they were interesting if not necessarily informative. It was fun to read about other people going through the same confusion, delight, frustration and awesome love that I was. There were horror stories of sick children and psycho nannies. There were inspiring stories of moms keeping their heads above their hormones and dads overcoming their dread of pink frills.
But there was one story that I've always remembered. It was a story about your child's lasts. Parents are so focused on their kids' first tooth or first step or first word. But there are lasts, and usually they slip away without anyone ever knowing, until one day you realize your daughter no longer needs you to accompany her to the bathroom; she no longer holds your ear as she's falling asleep.
Today was a last. It was a little last, but a last. Kayleigh, whose feet are now bigger than mine, had her last choir concert. She didn't sign up for it next year, and I know she won't go back to it. It was a good concert. These kids are getting so big. The boys have deep voices and muscles, the girls wear make-up and tight shirts. Kayleigh always stands on the end because she's tall. We sat right in front of her to see her last choir concert.
It doesn't make me sad, but it does make me remember.
Elizabeth Berg wrote that story about lasts in Parents Magazine when Kayleigh was a little girl. How right she was. But how lucky for Kayleigh and me that we could complete a circle of lasts with a first. Last night, I introduced Kayleigh to Elizabeth Berg, who was in town promoting her new book. Kayleigh told her that her book was funny. I told Elizabeth that Kayleigh was a pretty good writer herself. The best-selling author, the first Kayleigh's met, smiled and encouraged her.