To my high school senior,
Today you walked in on me, sitting on the floor with a box of photos, giddy with joy as I reminisced.
Photos from almost two decades ago. Photos of events you don’t recollect with people who have since then passed. Photos that fill this mama’s heart with all sorts of emotions as I pause to remember.
“Look at this one…and this one,” I squealed with delight.
I can’t believe that I have reached another parenting milestone with you: the first day of your senior year.
This was the last First Day that I greeted you in the morning with a camera in hand to capture the moment. This was the last First Day that I watched you drive away, me saying a silent prayer that God sends His blessings upon you.
Everything you do this year will be a “last” for me. For you, the joy of discovering life beyond these high school walls gives a sense of adventure and freedom. For me, it’s yet another step demonstrating that you’re growing up…and that I have to let go.
It makes me smile that I stumbled across preschool photos, a time of celebrated “firsts” just as I am embarking on a world of “lasts.” When you first learned to dress yourself, you told me, “Mama, I do it myself.” When you first learned to write your name, your proudly said, “Mama, watch what I can do.” When you stood on that stage in your first preschool program, you waved at me (which translated to, “Look at me Mama. I’m a big kid now.”)
How very funny it is that I will celebrate those same sentiments in each of your “lasts” this year.
As I see you studying for AP exams and writing college essays, “Mama, I can do it on my own.” As I see you excel at athletics and extracurricular activities, earning accolades for your success, “Mama, watch what I can do.” When you walk across that stage in your cap and gown, “Look at me Mama. I’m a graduate now.”
Oh, dear child of mine, when you see tears stream down my face this year as I look at you, don’t think they are tears of disappointment or sadness. Think of them as tears of happiness because with each tear I shed, I am reminded how much I treasure you, how much I love you, and how proud I am of this person you’ve become.
I look at you and see your strength of character. I look at you in awe of your confidence and contentment in who you are. I look at you and I know your future is bright because you have the skills to achieve your goals. I look at you and I smile, knowing I have done my best with you. I look at you with gratitude, thankful God chose me to be your mom.
I know you can do this. I eagerly wait to see what your future holds for you. And believe it or not, I am excited to “start over” again because next year, we’re back to celebrating “firsts”: first move-in day at college, first roommate, first … oh, quit rolling your eyes at me!
I love you. I will always love you. And if you ever want to reminisce with me, well, I have this box of photos …
Wind blown hair or not … This was yet another mommy milestone that I will treasure. I was proud to stand next to you on your Senior Recognition night. Go #13!