the lasts

I am acutely aware that time is slipping through my fingers this year.  Every day is like trying to hold water - trying to save something I know is unsavable, yet knowing it is the only thing worth saving at all.

First are easy to keep track of, easy to relish. By it's very nature, "first" implies that there are more to come.

First words.

First steps.

First day of school.

But lasts, lasts are more uncertain. Some of them are clear: the last choir concert; the last day of school, the last homecoming dance.  But I know that right now, we are living many of our "lasts" and I don't even know it.

Senior year is hitting me hard.

When will be the last time Punk snuggles up to Yoda and reads her a bedtime story?  Is this the last year he'll carve pumpkins with us, or will he come back?

Our last school night family dinner? The last doodle I'll find in the kitchen? The last time he'll ask me to help him study for a test? The last family movie night?

And even some that I should know the answers to - I don't. He has the lead in the fall play - but will this be his last play? Will he audition for another? Will he get a part? Will he decide to try theater in college? Will he find something else.

We don't know.

So much like the entire first year of his life, I find myself relishing everything - because I just don't know.

We lived one of our "lasts" last night. Since 2008, Punk and Kooka have held an annual Halloween party. At first, it was just a few neighborhood friends, then it morphed into buddies from school, then a few girls from Punk's grade showed up. Eventually, the parties had to be split up - early for Kooka, late for Punk.

But this year, was different.

This year was the last.

We told ourselves that Kooka will carry the tradition - and she will - she had several of her own friends there last night. But I will miss the 70 or so classmates of Punk's that have been a staple at this party for almost a decade. Some of them stop in for cider and a quick snack, some of them hang out with Rico and I, some of them taking selfies in our decked out front yard, some of them hunker in for the long haul to play cards and watch horrible movies.

They know the rules - either dress up, or be subjected to dancing Michael Jackson's Thriller as a front porch solo.  They go all out - full body paint, hand-sewed, meticulously made-up, even shaving heads and lighting themselves on fire

(yeah - I'm a good chaperone like that).

It is one of the best parts of our year.

Last year Punk's crew dressed up as the Scooby Squad, this year - the Suicide Squad. The lengths they go to always amazes me.

I know Halloween is tomorrow. But I think I cried more over this Halloween party than I will at his graduation party. And then three years later, I'll do it all over again with some of these guys:

By then, maybe Yoda will have had enough of Halloween, maybe she'll be cool with a plate of taco dip and binge watching Twilight Zone.  I can only hope, because keeping track of the lasts is so much harder than I thought it would be.