Having a senior son or daughter is a whirlwind of emotion and activity, whether it’s the last “first day of practice,” or the last “first day of school.”
You all get it; especially if you have had a graduating child.
I am a pretty sentimental person, and my husband is, as well, so we did shed a few tears on our son’s last “first day of school,” as my husband took the annual first day of school picture of our three children.
Our son is our first-born, so of course, these experiences are new for all of us. However, when our daughters reach this pinnacle in their lives, I am sure the sentiments and emotions will not differ. As with most siblings, our three children have similarities, but also many differences in their personalities.
Our son is a hardworking, extremely busy, take-charge, independent, kind, and caring person. (Yes, a mother’s description). He is ready to take on the world.
He traveled to Germany this summer for a month by himself, and was not concerned or nervous. He stayed with a host family, attended high school for a couple of weeks, and traveled parts of Europe with the family.
The flights went well. The trip went well, and he came back safe and sound. I was more nervous than he was.
He is really enjoying his senior year and is very involved in school extracurricular activities and all the stuff that goes on with school.
He is ready to move on to the next step college. He, of course, wants to attend school in another state to experience new things. That is him.
I, as his mother, respect his feelings and will support this, but also put in my 2 cents worth of a mother’s advice. How about a college in Minnesota? It, of course, is for selfish reasons. He has appeased me, in that he has gone on some tours of a few schools in Minnesota.
We do have to let our children spread their wings and fly. I can feel the empty-nest syndrome occurring already, without his presence in our daily lives, but it is what is supposed to happen. We are not doing our job if this does not happen. It is amazing to watch children grow into young adults, with their own purposes and goals.
I sit back and revel at the process of parenthood. From the days of babyhood never traveling without a car full of what parents think are necessities, and making sure we watch every move of our toddler, so they do not run into a table corner or gobble up something from the floor that is not supposed to go into the mouth.
Then, it is school time. That first day of preschool and kindergarten is many times harder for us than our child.
Birthday parties. Apple orchards. Chucky Cheese. Sleep-overs. Fundraisers. Parent meetings.
Our children move on to junior high. Oh, yes. Attitudes. Hormones. We are no longer needed by our children, so they say, but we know better. Peers. Peer pressure. Acceptance. Finding their own way.
High school. Their own way has become more defined. They are now young adults, with their own autonomy, lives, and goals.
Parents are mentors, as well as listeners and observers. It is amazing. Not only do our children change and evolve; we do, as well. We will always be parents. We will always love, and yes, worry about our children, but our roles as parents do change.
Yep, it is going to be a memorable, but emotional year. Many “lasts” to proceed to many “firsts.” The parenthood journey continues as it should.