Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Starting early with the last

Just to clear up any confusion: Rebecca is not a senior. She just started her junior year. She has two more years at home before she flies the coop like her brother and sister before her.

Why do I feel the need to make this pronouncement? Because there’s been a slight misunderstanding about her age. Several people have asked about any impending college plans. Others have asked her how it feels to be a senior. These questions caught her off-guard, understandably so. And when she asked me why so many people thought she should be shopping for dorm room decorations, I had to admit that it was all my fault. 

My darn watery eyes got me good.

There was no clue it was coming. I was telling the parents at our church’s homeschool co-op meeting about a new year-end celebration. It will be a special night where we’ll see student artwork, selected readers’ theater scenes, hear kids perform memorized passages, hand out yearbooks. In addition, I said, it will be a great opportunity for us to recognize any seniors. That, my friends, is all it took. Caught me completely off-guard. In front of all those parents (friends, thankfully) I teared up. And I couldn’t get it together. I had to stop talking before I’d finished telling the parents the particulars of the new night, tossing out, “I’ll send y’all an email,” as I left the front of the room.

Normally I cry at the beginning of the senior year. Which makes sense – I’m gearing up for the fact that one of my children will be leaving. Getting used to the new normal and all that. (For what it’s worth, I must say, the new normal never feels normal. Do you get used to cooking for one less or the quiet house? Yes. Does it ever feel normal? Well, not yet.) Crying at the beginning of the junior year… that does not bode well for dear Rebecca or my tear ducts.

Sorry, Rebecca. I’ll do my best to keep it together. At least until your senior year, when the tears will make just a bit more sense.