Yesterday, I registered my daughter for her SENIOR year in high school. I can remember a feeling of excitement and anticipation when we registered my son for his senior year. This time, my feelings were a bit different. Seeing how excited she is about the upcoming year makes me happy, but there is a part of me who wishes I was registering her for her first day of school.
Driving back to work, I began thinking about her first day of school. This little redheaded, round-faced girl jumped out of the car with excitement and a bit of nervousness. She proudly carried her Barbie backpack and lunchbox as we walked beside her and to her classroom. I could see the uneasy feeling on her face as we walked into the room full of other kids and parents. I kept telling myself over and over again to smile and wait until I got to the car to let the tears flow. That's exactly what I did. I sat in my car for what seemed to be 30 minutes with tears streaming down my face. My little girl was about to embark on her school career and I knew exactly how fast it would go.
Her morning ritual was for me to fix her hair and breakfast and her Dad took her to school. Years later, I found out they would often stop by the lake that is a few blocks from the school to "throw rocks in the water" because she didn't want to go to school. Big tears would well up in her eyes each morning as they arrived at school. He walked her to her locker until she was in third grade after telling her the other kids might start making fun of her because he was walking her in the school. She finally got brave enough to do it by herself. The first time she did, she stopped at the door to wave at her dad and huge tears filled her eyes. Letting go is even tough on kids. I think it was one of the toughest things my husband had to do.
I've realized having gone through senior year already doesn't make this time any easier. In fact, it's a bit harder because she is my baby. It will be a year full of lasts and just like her first day of school, I am planning on handling them with a smile on my face and will save the tears for when I am by myself. Tears of pride, tears of happiness and maybe just a few tears of sadness for a childhood which has gone entirely too fast for this mom.
Senior year....here we go.....