I am new at parenting a high school senior. Our son, Caleb, is our firstborn. We have two other children, daughters.
Being a senior, of course, means the last of many things, and embarking upon new journeys.
This August, my son had his senior pictures taken. I did not participate in choosing his apparel for pictures. He told me what he wanted to wear, and it was fine.
My husband’s only request was that he wear a suitcoat, or at least a tie. That, however, did not happen.
Our son informed his father that no one really dresses formally for pictures anymore. The pictures are to reflect their personalities. And the pictures did just that.
Last week, my son, a female friend of his, and I went to the studio to choose his pictures. The photographer made the process as stress-free as possible and very comfortable. We sat in a very nice room on a comfortable, cozy couch in front of a large screen and the show began.
The session began with a video of all of the pictures taken, set to some very sentimental music. The tears began to flow. My baby boy now a handsome young man, ready to take on the world.
My son comforted me, and said, “Don’t cry Mama Jenni. It’s OK.”
I gathered my thoughts and tears, and got back to the mission at hand choosing which picture Aunt Nora would like, which best reflects him, which wallets to pass out at school.
The senior wallets are a big deal at my son’s school.
It was great having a friend of Caleb’s along. When it got to choosing the photos for the wallets, she was able to help out with which ones were her favorites.
I followed my son’s lead, and we agreed, basically, on what photos captured him the best.
It was painless; other than my emotional tears, “Where has my baby gone?”
The other day, I was conveying something to my son as to what he should do in a certain situation. He didn’t ask me for my advice. He was just merely telling me about something.
He responded, “Mom, I know.” And he does.
My response to him, “I know you know, but just let me be your mother and say it anyway.” He smiled.
Yep. He is growing up with his own set of values and beliefs that will carry him well throughout his life. My role is still as his parent, but in a different way.
We all hope that our children will grow to be happy, productive, caring individuals. They will make mistakes, but, hopefully, the lessons and values that we have taught them will help them get through all the times of their lives.
He is ready to fly, and I am ready to watch him as he takes off. (Maybe.)