As we come to the close of Spring Break 2018, another milestone to this school year is checked off the list. At the start of tomorrow, there will be only nine weeks remaining to this school year. Nine weeks. Nine weeks that I can barely even conceive of. Nine weeks to wrap my mind around the idea. Nine weeks where the words and emotions flood in and out to the point I can’t seem to formulate sentences. Nine weeks of encapsulated feelings about this tiny blip of time that will speed by like a literal snap of the fingers. The nine weeks I am having difficulty grasping is the final nine weeks of high school for our oldest daughter, Abby.
As cliche as it sounds, it really does seem like only yesterday she began kindergarten and now we are rapidly closing in on the end of her high school days. At the start of this school year, we had so many rituals and rites of passages to do for “senior year”…some we did, some we blew off, some we negotiated on and some we went all out. Senior pictures, cap and gown orders, visiting colleges, last volleyball season, senior night, running and making homecoming court, homecoming dance, football games, volleyball banquet, SGA activities, all the yearly volunteer work, SAT’s and ACT’s, and all the typical lasts…
All the while everything is getting checked off the list faster and faster…until one by one, we are here. Nine weeks remain and there aren’t many more lasts left for a girl who has made the most and squeezed every morsel of joy from her high school years. We have the last few milestones of senior prom, grad bash, senior honors ceremony, senior week, graduation and then that is pretty much it.
In 2011, long before Abby’s high school years, I posted a note to FB entitled “My Abby” it was about an evening at home with Abby but in the last sentence I wrote, “Oh, time did melt for that single moment as I looked into her eyes and realized I have seen her past, am walking by her side now and in my mind’s eye sees her future as she walks beyond me to become the incredible woman she is to become. Stronger then me, better then me but still partly me…” and the realization hit me that the time I wrote about is nearly upon us. I thought I would be ready…and while I am, I am not.
I am reminded by friends that I have two more that will be home to keep me occupied. I am reminded by friends that this is just her beginning. I am reminded of all kinds of wonderful things and I know these things to be true. I really do and while I look forward to these coming years with excitement for all three with their newness and firsts to come…admittedly I am grappling with the lasts that remain now till graduation with my oldest.
As her mother, I recognize that I have to put a brave face on for my girl so she feels secure in her place as she forges ahead. I know this. This is what mothers do for the daughters they are raising to be equally strong, if not stronger then themselves. I also recognize that it is a time for us to continue our open and honest conversations about all the unknowns while still feeding the strong spirit that will prepare her for change.
Yet in the meantime, I am just a mom. Just a mom sharing her parenting struggles, only it isn’t about stepping on a Lego in the night, my post haste Christmas frenzied confessions or any other hot mess mom moments where I forgot to make the brownies.
This is me getting gritty and real about my own feelings and wondering the way moms do when they wonder. I am not beating myself up or even being hard on myself. It is some other place…a place where I recognize I am hovering more between nostalgic, letting go, excitement about her future and questioning have I done enough to prepare her?
It is the realization of me pushing myself beyond my comfort zone in anticipation of supporting her as she pushes herself beyond her comfort zone. This is so very natural, yet not a place many moms like to admit they allow themselves to go. After-all, we like to at least look like we keep it together even if our insides are churning. It certainly is not a place I will emotionally reside for long because deep down, I know I have done my job and done it well. Plus, this is just one of those moments you have to dig deep and call on your faith in yourself, your child and all that you believe in.
So while I may feel like shedding a bucket of tears this last nine weeks, I need to be patient with myself and know there is order and flow to all of this. I just need to trust the process. I also need to trust I am equipped to let her go…just as she is equipped to go…toward her future because the possibilities are endless and I want her to embrace all the potential within her as she calls for her courage to begin a new adventure in life.
‘Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
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