Driving out of my neighborhood this morning I noticed something different at the bus stop. The crowd was larger than I remember it being this spring. Then I realized what was happening when I saw all the cameras. A number of children today became celebrities. It was their first day of school. They were posing for the parent paparazzi as they stepped onto a school bus for the first time. In the crowd there were kids who were nervous, moms who were emotional, and dads who were realizing they have a little more than a decade to save for college. I actually talked to a dad last night, whose son’s first day of school was today. It was fun to encourage him.  I said, “You do know that in about two times the amount of time you have lived with your son, you are going to be taking him to get his driver’s license.” He responded, “Thanks a lot.  I don’t know that I want to think about that.”  This is just one of the firsts that our kids experience that change the dynamic of family life.

  • Saying their first words
  • Taking their first step
  • Going to school their first day
  • Driving a car for the first time
  • Attending their first semester of college

And in between all of those firsts there are a lot of other firsts (Their first bike ride, their first test, their first dance…).  It goes on and on, and it goes really fast. Every first is a mile-marker. It launches them, and those of you who are parents into a new rhythm of family. It was a little bittersweet for me to observe families at the bus stop today. It really didn’t seem that long ago, when my kids were getting up and heading to Midway Elementary School. Now our youngest is in her first year of college. So my only advice today is to keep the camera in your hand because you are going to need it. Do whatever you need to do to make sure you don’t miss it.

What firsts do you think have made the most significant change in your family life, so far?