This is how I’ve been living my life since September.
Parents of current or former high school seniors will understand.
While it’s true that I’ve spent the past two or three years (over)thinking this time in our lives, nothing I imagined could have prepared me for how fast it came flying at — and by — me.
My daughter will graduate high school in four weeks.
It might as well be four hours.
The past month have been a blur of lasts, and in the next three weeks we’ll experience many more. The last choir competition, concert and awards presentation. The final curtain of the final musical. The last AP test, parent-teacher conference, and final exam. Prom. The last last day of school.
All these lasts have been flying at us fast and furiously, which is probably a blessing in disguise as we haven’t had a moment to stop and let the implications of them all sink in.
And while all the the emotions may be thisclose to overwhelming me, I get it. I fully understand and appreciate the fact that this is life, and believe me, am thankful for all of it — even the painful parts. I am. But that doesn’t — and shouldn’t — minimize the fact that it’s hard. Hard to close the door on the biggest and best part of my life: the raising of my child.
Will I continue to give her my solicited — and unsolicited — advice? Absolutely.
(If my own mother is a barometer for how long that lasts, I’ll be doing that until I’m in my 70’s, at least.)
But it will be different. Getting her to appointments, reminding her to take her allergy medicine, making sure she eats something other than Goldfish and microwave popcorn, tucking her in — all things I’m almost finished doing.
And by ‘almost finished doing,’ I of course am lying.
I realize as a mother you never get to finish anything.
Thank God for FaceTime.
And Google chat.
Hell, I might actually have more contact with her after she moves away than I do now.
It gnaws at you, though, this feeling of finality. Especially when it’s your first child who’s leaving the nest that you’ve taken such pains and care to feather. And I know that she’s ready. And I couldn’t be prouder of and more excited for her. But thinking about the monumental change that is about to occur in our comfortable little nest? The intensity of that thought is staggering. In all honesty, I don’t know how to act; how to handle it. With a few bottles of good Cabernet, is really the only thing I’ve come up with.
I’m trying to get perspective, though, and trying to start to accept the things I cannot change and embrace the future.
Because although it may be true that I’m currently living in a world of lasts, there’s a whole lot of firsts up ahead.
But now, after the years of trying to avoid the fact that it will happen, it’s time.
Time to pull my seatbelt tighter and hold on.
Or maybe — more importantly — to start to let go.
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