Today is the first day of school for my last 2 children. I have been reminiscing about how long it’s been since all of my kids were gone on the first day of school together. This is the first year in 7 years that I am not homeschooling at least one of my children. My girls are not currently in school, my oldest is gone on her mission for my Church, and my second is at a remote hunting lodge working until the end of September. This is only the third “first day of school” that I have been home by myself, as my kids were only in school at the same time for 2 years while in Elementary school. It’s crazy to me how fast time flies.

The first day of school is always exciting, a little bit scary, maybe some stress depending on how smoothly it goes. There are a lot of firsts in life that are the same way. In fact, I think most firsts are like the first day of school. I remember when I had my first baby. We were so excited! We had been trying for almost 5 years when I got pregnant, we had almost given up and had started to talk about looking in to adoption. But, when I went in to labor, things got real. And when I had to take that little tiny baby home, just me and my husband, I was terrified. Fortunately she turned out alright, even though we had no idea what we were doing. That first time though made the next 3 after that a lot easier, and a whole lot less scary.

First’s are like that. A bit scary, but once you pass the first, you become better at it, and it’s not scary any more. It’s no longer a first. Eventually, if we do it long enough it becomes an old hat, and we are more comfortable with moving ahead. Life has a lot of first’s, but fortunately, there are a lot of seconds and thirds, and so on. First’s are fun because of the excitement, even because of the little bit of stress and apprehension. But when you have done it more than once, like the first day of school, the first baby, or whatever it is, the second time around you have more confidence in your own abilities. That’s why seconds are great. But, if you remember and look back at all the first’s you have accomplished or pressed through, you can have confidence even when you are approaching a new first. You have done hard things, you know you can persevere through, and you can move forward with more of that excitement, and hopefully less apprehension or fear. Having confidence in yourself and your abilities helps you become a more resilient person. You learn you can adapt and change in hard circumstances, you learn that you can grow and learn, that you can have confidence in who you are and what you are capable of.

I am so grateful for the many first’s I have had in my life, and how they have shaped me into a more confident, resilient person. I am grateful for the opportunity to do hard things in my life, and for the ability to overcome and progress. Life is challenging, but we can each choose to be up for the challenge. What are some first’s you have experienced lately?

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