Senioritis. I’ve got it.
I am over 40, but that’s not the kind of “senioritis” I’m talking about. I have a child who will be graduating next year. A senior in high school.
You young mommies and daddies out there with babies, preschoolers, even elementary school kids won’t get it yet, but I hope what I post here will sink into your brain as your days run together into weeksmonthsyearsssss. Older moms always told me, “savor every moment…they grow up so fast!” and I would nod as if I really got it. I didn’t. Not until now.
Somehow, without me realizing it, time has slipped away. My sweet toddling baby learned to read and ride a bike and got student of the month and started middle school and took driver’s ed… and we just blinked…and she’s in 12th grade.
All those “mundane” afternoons of car line, going to the park, doing a little bit of homework, eating dinner together. Gone. She drives herself to and from school. She’s got a job. She’s got things to do. On her own. Important things.
This summer my girl swore in to the United States Marine Corps. She’s only 17, and you might think we are crazy to have signed for her to join so early. But she’s been wanting to do this for 3 years now, and it became apparent to us that she would have done it the day she turned 18 (5 months from now), and by signing early, she has a better chance at getting a big scholarship the Marine Corps offers. So she’s now a Marine Poolee, and will either go to college and come out an officer in the USMC, or go to boot camp and get a job in the USMC. Either way, she’s officially in.
And either way, she’s leaving us.
It’s funny how last year we just went on about our days, not thinking about the fact that she would be leaving. I guess you just don’t think about it until you have to. And now, here we are, 8.5 months away from her high school graduation, and every event, every “first,” is now a “last”.
I want her to attend every football game, every dance, go to every birthday party, movie, and gathering she can. I want all her friends to come over and I want them to post videos of themselves laughing, swimming, goofing off…being carefree kids.
In just a few months her world as she’s know it will turn upside down. She will, in a sense, become an adult. But I mean, it’s what we become parents for, right? To take these precious gifts from God and raise them to the best of our ability, pour everything we have into them. Seems like a daunting task to take on for 18 years straight. That’s the hard part, right?
Letting go is the hard part. The rest of it was a piece of cake.
So for now, I’m going to try to celebrate every moment, cherish every “last,” remember exactly who my girl is right at this moment.
She loves to fish. She likes big trucks. She loves animals. She loves to draw. She’s quiet, but when she laughs, it’s infectious. She is crazy about her country. And she’s a future Marine.
I can’t wait to see what she will become as she ventures out into this big world, but for now I’m just going to soak in all the nows.
So my advice to you parents of younger kids is this: Cherish every second. Even the bad ones. Even the boring ones. Even when they are disobeying and talking back and being horrible and driving you nuts. Because even in those moments, they are yours. Teach them. Even if you feel like you’ve said the same thing a thousand times. Hug them. Take pictures of them at every stage. DO things with them. Go places. Make memories. Enjoy all the “firsts” before they become the “lasts.”
Because it happens so fast. They grow up so fast.