Have you ever thought of celebrating the last of something?
The last day of school for the year is often celebrated and particularly finishing school is celebrated. New Year’s Eve parties celebrate the old year finishing & the new year beginning.
But what about celebrating some of the many other lasts that happen in life?
When we moved house almost a decade ago now, on the last day before we handed the key over to the new owner, after the house was emptied & clean we stayed over. There was nothing much left in the house so we bought back some airbeds, food & anything else that we needed. Our children chose where they wanted to sleep. One of them chose to set up their airbed in the kitchen in the alcove where the fridge had been. The other child slept in our old room and my husband & I slept in one of the kids old rooms. We also had a family prayer to thank God for our time in the house & for all the memories of our time in that place.
When a family from our church moved interstate last year our Minister gave them 2 notebooks. One to write memories of the time in that house to take with them. The second to write some memories for the new occupant along with practical things like what day the rubbish truck comes.
When our children finished primary school they went to high school a year before their classmates. The high school they were going to had grade 7 as part of high school but their primary school still went up to grade 7, as state high schools still started high school in grade 8. Anyhow since they were leaving a year before their classmates they both had something to get classmates & teachers to sign as a reminder of their time at the school.
A few years ago I read this post about celebrating the last which made me think about what we could do to celebrate the last. The mother who wrote the post shared about celebrating the last diaper (nappy), last use of sippy cups, the last time she nursed, the last day of being 9 & the last day of being 12.
At the time all those milestones had passed for our family but it made me think about what lasts we could still celebrate. As my daughter was finishing school that year that was a natural one to think about. The school does many official celebrations but we also gave our daughter a Bible for her graduation which had been written in by many significant people in her life. This was probably more looking to the future than celebrating finishing school.
However when my daughter turned 18 I wanted to celebrate the last day of being a child. I thought that it would have been great to go and do some activity that she had enjoyed as a child such as climbing a tree or visiting a playground. I knew that the day before her birthday was going to be pretty busy as we were preparing for her birthday party. In the end we didn’t have time to go anywhere to do something but I did read her 1 (or probably 2) last bedtime stories. Something we hadn’t done for years but it was fun to go back and read one or two of her favourite stories one last time.
Recently my son has turned 18 & I also read him 2 of his favourite bedtime stories on his last night of being 17.
Andrea Kihlstedt in this article shares how the way you feel at the most intense moment & the end of an event plays the biggest role in how you feel about the entire event. She shares this example in the article “Have you ever watched a football game in which your team played wonderfully, but at very end they lost the ball and wound up losing the game? Those disastrous last few minutes will overwrite your memory of the entire game.”
So if endings are important shouldn’t we be celebrating the last & try to end things well.
A few other lasts to celebrate might include:
- losing the last baby tooth
- any last day before the next birthday (but particularly before milestone birthdays)
- last day before a child leaves home
What ways have you celebrated the last?