March 13, 2017

Things You Think When You Are the Parent of a High School Senior

I am the mom of a high school senior. 

This means I am perpetually getting into my purse for one of three things: 1)tissues (see, "senior moment"); 2)my credit card; 3)my phone (see, "camera to record senior moment for which I will need a tissue").

My mind is spinning more than usual these days, ever since the calendar year and my daughter's graduation year turned into THE SAME NUMBER, God help me.

But in the midst of all the spinning, my brain seems to be on a continual loop with the following recurring thoughts...

1. I have GOT to memorize her social security number.

2. Exactly how much meat do I need for a taco bar for 200 people?

3. Where is that video of her singing that solo in that school program that year when she was in elementary school?

4. Will this be the last time she's home for Valentine’s Day/putting up the Christmas tree/her birthday/family game night? Did I take enough pictures this time around in case it is? Where is my phone? Where ARE the tissues?

5. Will she like these cups for her party? (Takes picture of cups while hiding in the electrical supply aisle at the grocery store. Sends to prospective graduate for approval.)

I cannot believe this is her last band concert/basketball game/high school musical/swim meet/pediatrician’s well-check.

7. My entire life has become an acronym: FAFSA, EFC, SAR, GPA, SAT, ACT. (SOS.)

8. How far in advance can an extended weather forecast for the day of her party be trusted?

9. June is only how many months away?

10. Did I miss the deadline for that scholarship application/yearbook senior picture submission/graduation party rental?

11. I have GOT to make a list.

12. "Just buy the basic model and put the extra $250 into a college fund, for crying out loud!" (Upon hearing about a $299 baby monitor that tells parents when they're low on diapers.)
13. This is not just a year of lasts. It’s really just the last year before a year of firsts.

14. Have I made her favorite meal lately? Has she been home to eat her favorite meal lately?

15. Why did we wait so long to do all the stuff around this house that needs to be done before her party?

16. Please, God, don’t let it rain on graduation.

17. Please, God, don’t let it rain on her party.

18. I think I'd better start listening to "Pomp and Circumstance" over and over to try to build up my emotional immunity.

19. Note to self: buy waterproof mascara.

20. I don't think I could love this child more than I do right now. But I thought that when she was born, and look what's happened since.

Shameless share: my senior.

If you're in this season right now, what's going around on your mental hamster wheel these days? If you've been there and done that, what do you remember thinking over...and over...and over? If these days are still ahead of you (way, way ahead...don't think about it yet), maybe you know a senior parent you can pass this along to. And while you're at it, hand them a tissue, will you?

**This post may have been shared at some of these link parties.**


  1. My oldest daughter is a high school sophomore, and I can't thank you enough for giving me this list ahead of time!!

    So to start, number 1 may be beyond my mental capabilities. I have mine and my husband's social security numbers memorized, and I Just. Don't. Know. if I can squeeze another one into my brain. Sadly, I haven't had my daughter memorize her own SSN yet, so I guess I should start there. Then at least she could help me out if she was around!

    As far as those "last" moments like basketball games and school concerts...I don't know if there will be enough tissues in several boxes to cover each one. Can't even begin to think about it...

    Just yesterday, my daughter was talking about how I'll need to make all her favorite meals when she comes home from college!! We've got a couple of years yet, but I guess she wants it duly noted what those meals are, and that she'll be missing my home cooking (at least some of it ;) when she's away.

    Trusting that God will give you the grace and strength you need to maneuver through these next several months!!

    1. Heehee...Tracey, you rock! I was actually thinking of you when I wrote this post, supposing you might tuck it away for future (but not too future!) reference. You are one step ahead of me, having your husband's SSN memorized! Honestly, I have Lydia's "hidden" on my phone for the very reason that I haven't memorized it...and doing so makes my head hurt. I mean, hurt MORE. As for those favorite meals, your daughter sounds like she'd get along just fine with mine! Isn't it sweet that our girls love their mamas' cooking that much? But the real story here, my friend, is that one thing I'm thinking a lot that just didn't quite fit the list is this: I am SO excited for all my senior has ahead for her and cannot wait to watch her begin a new season once this one ends. xoxo

  2. I cannot believe that you will be entertaining 200 people -- with tacos, no less -- but I sure wish I could be up there to be one of them. I guarantee that I'd show up with an entire warehouse store-sized CASE of tissues! :)

    1. Aw, I wish you could be one of them, too!!! We're actually not serving tacos (editorial license/example of something I know some grad parents are thinking) but rather sandwiches and meatballs and fruit so I can concentrate mostly on those cupcakes I sent you the picture of! ;) This hosting gig is way outside my comfort zone, but I am asking God to help me keep the main thing the main thing: that Lydia feels loved, cherished, and celebrated. :)Thanks for the virtual tissues, my friend!


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-old 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!