When it hits you, rather inconveniently that today is the last first day of school, you as a parent will ever have, and it didn’t even require your attendance…

I woke up today like any other day, washed my face, brushed my teeth, went downstairs let the boys out, drank two glasses of water, started to boil the kettle for tea.  I handled some emails, and carried on with my regular morning business before jumping in my SUV to head down into Malibu for my Lagree workout. A regular Tuesday morning, at my lovely California house in the mountains.  Waking up here is like getting a new lease on life every single day.  I didn’t think much about anything.  Just another day, another beautiful morning in Cali, another blessed day to be alive.

The only way to the heart of Malibu from my house is to drive Malibu Canyon.  On the entire corner of that canyon and the PCH sits the Pepperdine campus.  I drive by it, too many times to count when I’m here for months on end, and have been driving by it for twenty two years.  It is nothing new.  It’s there, it’s always been there, I’ve never known a day when the campus wasn’t.  And I’ve driven by it without any issues.

Except for today.

Today as I came down the hill toward the entrance to Pepp I saw vehicle after vehicle turning into the property.  Filled to the brim with household items, bins, suitcases, and a freshman student.

I burst into tears.

I began sobbing in the drivers seat of my SUV.  Big fat tears rolling down my cheeks.

It hit me.  I will never do that again.  What all those parents and kids were doing in that moment I will never experience ever again.  The cars occupied by mothers/fathers along with freshman students moving them into their university dorm rooms for the very first time.  In thirty minutes they’ll be greeted by a whole group of NSO (new student orientation)volunteers, Mikaela has been one for the past two years, cheering loudly, welcoming them to their new homes.  Then these same volunteers will proficiently pull every single item out of your car and haul it up to your child’s new room before you can even turn the ignition off.  It will all happen so quickly that you won’t even believe your student needed you to be there at all.

Then the three days of parent seminars will be over and away you will go, leaving your baby behind.

You only get to do this first day of university once per child.

And if you’re like me, you realize on a regular Tuesday morning as you’re driving by the school you’ve driven by too many times to count, that you will never, ever have to do it again.  Not for the child who currently attends that university, or any other kid.  It hits you square in the chest that all your first days of school are officially over, and this last one didn’t even require your attendance…


  1. Aww, I had to leave this blog when I read about your tears….it’s a really big thing when that sort of realisation comes. Even though your attendance may not have been required, all your girls will still need you in some way, and want to share all sorts of wonderful things in the future with you. And I’m sure there will be grandchildren in the future, and you will be in your element teaching them and spoiling them. I think you can be proud that you and Yannick have brought two, and in due course, three girls through this phase of their lives. God bless you all.

    Nattacia xox

    P.S. Love the new bio on your Home page!

  2. Awww Shantelle! I felt your pain in your written word! Yea, it sucks getting older. No matter what, our lives change all the time. Thank God this is a “good” change.
    Just think, in a few short years, you’ll be a Grandma and you can spoil your Grandchild rotten; then give them back!!!!

  3. You are so sweet! I’m sorry you’ve closed that chapter, but many exciting chapters ahead, I’m certain.

  4. It is a milestone indeed. A sad realization but it means the start of a new chapter in all of your lives. And your relationship will flourish on more ways every day as you may have experienced already with your other girls.

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