The other day, I realized—in a smack-you-upside-the-head kind of way—that my oldest child’s senior year doesn’t begin when she starts her last year of secondary education.
It began when she walked out of school on the last day of her junior year.
So that happened. And now the reality and enormity of this whole thing keeps hitting me when I least expect it, at moments like these…
1. I figured out on the last day of school that it was my daughters’ last last day together. How did I miss making A Big Deal about this? Next year, my oldest will have her last day early and on her own. I’ll still play “What Time Is It” from High School Musical 2 when they get home from school, but next year, I’ll have to play it twice. On different days.
2. All those “senior parent” notices flashing on the screen outside the high school? The ones I’ve been ignoring for 12 years? Now I have to pay attention to EVERY SINGLE ONE.
3. I got weepy reading the instructions on some OTC cold medicine I was giving my teenager because I saw the “adult” dosage listed and realized I’ll soon have an “adult” to give it to.
4. I did not merely attend high school graduation parties this season. I scoped out buffet options and assessed traffic flow patterns and said things like, “Nice party…say, where’d you get all these tables and chairs?”
5. Digital cameras came out after this child was born. Where, exactly, are all those negatives of her as a baby? And does anyone even develop negatives anymore? Can we skip the poster board photo display and just have more dessert?
6. Everything we’ve been waiting to do around here until our firstborn’s high school graduation party suddenly needs to be done. Right. This. Minute.
7. The moment at the band concert and dance recital and graduation Sunday in church when all the seniors were recognized? Cannot even think about next year. (Note to self: start carrying tissues everywhere.)
8. A few blinks ago, I was triumphantly hauling my 7-pound, 5-day-old baby into the pediatrician’s office for her first well-baby check. Next month, I’ll go with that baby to her last well-child check. (See “tissues,” above.)
9. Cap-and-gown-themed party supplies on clearance? Let me get a cart.
10. Links I’ve saved recently : “What You Need To Know About the 2017–18 FAFSA”; “6 Smart Ideas for Parenting Your High School Senior”; and “7 Things To Make Sure You Do During Your Child’s Senior Year.”
On top of all these hit-me moments, I’m holding on to everything we do that might be a last: last week at the lake; last church camp; last teeth-cleaning with pediatric dental coverage.
But I’m also getting ready for so many firsts. The year ahead—the year that has started NOW—is much more a beginning than it is an ending. I’m grateful for it and excited about it.
I'm still stocking up on Kleenex, though.
Have you had your own "a long time from now is right this minute" moment?
I'd love to have you share it in a comment or over on Facebook.
Also, here's a tissue.
**This post may have been shared at some of these blog bashes.**