June 29, 2016

It Just Hit Me: I'm the Mom of a High School Senior


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.


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.**

14 comments:

  1. Oh, my....I have one more summer after this one before I'm in your shoes! I look forward to following along as you brave this new territory over the next 12 months. May it be a year full of sweet memories as you tackle these new experiences as a family!

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    1. Aw, thank you, Tracey! I'll try to figure out the bumps in the road and keep you posted so you'll know what not to do! ;) Thanks so much for your sweet encouragement and good wishes. Mostly, I am excited, happy, and hopeful. You know, when I'm not weeping. ;)

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  2. My oldest is a senior as well this fall. And she's realizing this summer all the things that are "lasts" already! And #6 and #7 are SOOO true for me as well.
    Visiting from #CoffeeAndConversation

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    1. Oh my goodness...how lovely to meet a fellow mom-of-a-senior (especially a first-timer like me), Trena! Isn't this a bittersweet summer? I wasn't quite prepared for it, but I'm trying to get with the program. Blessings on you, mama, and on your rising senior! :)

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  3. My oldest makes it hard to be too sad that he will be graduating in two years. There are days I think, If only I hadn't held him back... but I will still need a lot of kleenex next year too. I will be scoping out the graduation clearance items too!

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    1. Crystal, I love your honesty about motherhood! And I think you nailed it: a mix of moments when we're thankful our kids are moving on but tears at the same time. As for those clearance grad party supplies: other moms in our areas had better watch out if you and I are around! ;)

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  4. I am right there with ya! I've already started looking at cake ideas and how to make money lei tutorials lol. It's an exciting time but I understand how you feel for it seems like it is also an end of an era. I'm sure I'll be all tears when the day comes. My son is actually talking about joining the military after high school so that concept is the one that has me a little more perplexed than finishing senior year. All in all I'm a proud Mommy.

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    1. Hi, Natalie! It's wonderful to meet a fellow mom of teens, especially one who's also already into the grad party planning! ;) What an exciting time for your son...if a little nerve-wracking for his mom. Blessings on you both...I'm just over checking out your blog right now!

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  5. The first one is the hardest. It's difficult to let go. But...they grow (eventually) into independent, wonderful adults - to be proud of. Its going to be ok. :)

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    1. Aw, thank you so much for these sweet and understanding words! I can hear the ring of truth and experience in them. Thank you for this gift!

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  6. Love it! My oldest girl became a senior last year too! Now, our second year if community college! Your description of all the moments and emotions were all too true! Enjoy the next phase of motherhood: College Edition! :D

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    1. Well, bless your heart and thank you so much! I can't tell you how much I appreciate this support and encouragement from a mom who's been there. "...The next phase of motherhood: College Edition." I LOVE that! :) Thank you for stopping by and leaving your kind and uplifting words!

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  7. Oooh, you were smart to stock up on graduation party supplies last year - but then, I'd expect nothing less from you, my friend!

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    1. Aw, thanks for the vote of confidence! I already feel behind on this whole "being the mom of a senior" thing, but that's pretty much Learner Child territory, I'm finding out. Trying to appreciate every moment (when I'm not panicking!). Thanks so much for stopping by, lovely lady!

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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!