Maybe if I say it out loud, often, it will somehow sink in… CJ is a High School Senior this year.
I’m not sure how we got to this place so quickly, and over the years there have been many milestones and firsts with him that I have met head on without flinching, but this one has me stumped. Then there’s that looming 18th birthday around the corner too….
I just never thought it would be difficult for me to face.
I’m not exactly in denial, I simply can’t believe it’s possible for my baby (he would roll his eyes at me with a lopsided grin on his face at that one) to be a Senior in high school this year. I’m not sure I’m ready for all that entails, and I know I don’t feel old enough!
I’ve raised my sons to be confident young men, ready for the future, so why is it that when met with the end of that road as a parent I am suddenly panicking?
Did I do all I should? Is he ready? Am I ready?
I don’t have many regrets with him. He is an amazing, respectful and kind young man. He knows what he wants to do with his life, and he knows the path he needs to take to get there (wow!). I feel confident as he approaches the last few steps to adulthood. He is so very nearly ready in every area; spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally.
So what is my hangup? Honestly it’s simple… he has been, is and always will be my baby boy. It doesn’t matter to me that he’s 6′ 3″ and can grow a beard, he’s my little boy, and he knows it too.
So now I have a choice. To face his adulthood head on with him, with confidence and joy and happiness, as I have each stage before… or I can wallow in the emotional side and let it get the better of me.
I know I will face it head on. I am so very proud of who he has become and where he is headed. I do look forward, with much anticipation, to seeing what lies ahead in his life.
I will also be honest, there is a little bit of my heart that is tender, because as your child becomes an adult, it’s impossible not to feel a little ache there. It is the first stage in your child’s entire life, where they truly and completely must walk forward without you.
Not to say that we won’t still be here for him, we will. Not to say he won’t still be with us for awhile, he will. But his decisions truly will be his own.
So as we gear up for back-to-school this year, somewhere in the back of my mind there’s always that little thought that next year I’ll only be shopping for 5 of them. I know that should make me happy, it will certainly make my wallet happy, but it’s disconcerting at the same time. Makes a task I have always found annoying and overwhelming feel a little more serious and important this year.
We still have little ones, the youngest guys are only in 2nd grade this year, but I feel I have officially entered a new era in motherhood. So, as we enter his Senior year and all the “firsts” that come with it, I also wish all of you all the best as you face whatever firsts that lie before you this year!