Joy in the Lasts: Senior Year Edition Flash Back


I have been thinking about the piece I wrote four years ago a lot lately. It's senior year for Hockey Guy and I am not as sad as I probably should be. He has really had the high school career that most of us, his mom included, would dream of. He is happy, he has lots of friends, he is in a school where he is supported, he is a peer mentor and he is a successful athlete. I know not every kid has this experience in high school, and I know that because I was one of those kids that really struggled in high school. I think that because of his experience and my experience being polar opposites, I am once again finding Joy in the lasts.

I am not one bit sad Hockey Guy is in his senior year. I am loving the traditions like Senior Sunrise, I am counting the days until the first puck drop of hockey season, and trying to breathe during the college application process. The one thing I am not doing, is trying to make time slow down. This is his time, not mine and it will all move along for him exactly like it should. It will all fall into place exactly like God wants it to, even though at times lately I am raising my eyebrow a little at a path God is adding for us. 

  My Joy in the Lasts piece below is just as relevant in high school as it was in the fall of eighth grade. Quite possibly because the world shut down in March of his eighth-grade year and we didn't know what would be heading our way that year, this almost makes his senior year more special. 

For the record, I do reserve the right to be a total puddle of tears at college drop this summer, but for now, I am embracing Joy in the lasts from now until graduation.  If you are struggling a little bit with any transitions in your life, check out this piece below. And yes, Nurse K is still basically like my little sister and Dr. Denise is still a person who in an instant makes you feel special, especially on a night when you really need it. 

I am also linking up today with Holly and Sarah for Hello Monday. Come find Joy in the lasts with me. 


It's the last Thursday of August so I am linking up with my girl Holly to talk Thankful Thursdays. Today I am talking finding Gratitude in the Lasts.
This is Hockey Guy's last year at his school. He has been at this same school since he was a five year old with a buzz cut. Now he is a full blown teenager who is learning how to properly check on the hockey ice. Last spring I didn't know how I would feel at this point. I thought I would be really sad heading into all the last firsts and all the lasts lasts. What is surprising is that I have all the feels, but not true sadness.

To try to get to the root of my feels as we head into all the lasts, I had to think about our firsts. We applied for kindergarten to his school pretty late, not  ridiculously late, but we didn't look at the school until April and the applications were due in March. We ended up on the wait list all summer and did end up getting accepted in early August. While we were happy we got in, we didn't know anyone in our grade. My lovely friend had kids at the school but they were not in the same grade. 

We did have a sweet met up with friend of a friend and the boys became friends. I was also trying to connect with another friend of a friend but she was traveling. At kindergarten orientation, a woman came up to me and asked me if I was Patty Richey, I said yes and she told me that her name was Denise and that she was the woman I had been emailing. Instead of extending her hand, I remember that she gave me the sweetest, warmest, gentlest hug. A warm embrace as though she knew me and at the same time was welcoming me. Dr. Denise probably doesn't even remember that moment, but I do and that hug would set the tone for our next eight years. 

As I was getting ready for the back to school Mass and coffee, I was thinking that I was surprised I wasn't sadder about this day. It was our very last back to school coffee. When we were sitting in church, several times I almost started crying but it wasn't the homily or the music tapping into my feelings. I was thinking that I felt like I might cry but I wasn't sad. The second time this happened that morning I realized that it was gratitude. I felt as though my heart was so full that it literally was about spill out of my eyes. I was finding gratitude and Joy in this last. 

I am not in the mode where I want time to slow down, we are  actually right where I want our family to be and right where we are supposed to be in this moment in time. This is going to be a big year for Hockey Guy and our family. He has such an adventure and big goals ahead of him. I know he can get where he wants to be and he has a plan to get there. 

I am also not really a person who lives in the moment. I am usually thinking about the next ten things I need to do or what could happen next and if that said thing happens what my plans are to handle it. In this season, a season that I thought I was going to be more sad, I am actually enjoying living in this moment. I am finding Joy and gratitude in these lasts. 

Nurse K and I were talking the other night. Our class is so tight, all of the kids are friends. Last Christmas 37 of us went to a movie and I heard the movie staff radio to concessions that there was a family of 37 coming in. We are not related, but they were right in so many ways. I told Nurse K that we need to try not to be sad, we need to not dread what is coming, we just need to enjoy each and every moment. We need to find our gratitude in these lasts, because there is so much to be grateful for.

So if you are in any year of lasts, whatever those may be, don't dread it, don't freak out about it. These lasts are a gift, they are an adventure. Find Joy in them, savor them. Know that I am going through them too and flip the switch from sad to gratitude. 

Here's to you class of 2020!

Did you blog about gratitude this month or back to school? Feel free to link up with Holly and me below.


  1. Oh my gosh was this beautiful to read! LOVE your attitude my friend and Amen! Also side note, can't believe we have been blogging together as long as we have- may it continue forever!

    1. Thank you sweet friend. I want to be your partner in this blogging world as long as we can. We are the Best team!

  2. What a lovely post! Your son has great things ahead of him, he has many, many more firsts and lasts and I'm sure you'll find the joy in all of them.

  3. I am not at all sad either and am loving all these senior year rights of passage (maybe because he's my only boy to have had them?). Even the college process is not stressing us out at all because I refuse to let it. He's multitalented and will be fine no matter where he ends up next year.

  4. A lovely way to describe your feelings and thoughts. Just know that there is plenty of joy in all that lies ahead. Plus, there will be a different (in a good way) kind of relationship with your son that you will enjoy so much.


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