Saturday, October 22, 2011

Senior Year-- for Tabatha

Dear Tabatha,

I've been reading your posts about your son's Senior year of high school, and I keep thinking back to last year when we went through some of this, too.

You mentioned he wants to go "away" to school-- in the same state, but perhaps not where you can see him every day or even every week.  I know you've joked that you're going to move there with him.

I know it's hard.

So I wanted to share some thoughts with you.  I hope you don't mind, and I hope they help.

Senior year is not just about him stretching those wings and joyously embracing the possibility of a life where he begins to make those important choices on his own.  This is also your time to begin to adjust.  You start thinking about those first moments when he won't be there, where before he was always close by and participating with family.  Things like first days of school, holidays, and even his first birthday where you can't hug him.

Catch your breath, hon.  I know it's stuck somewhere in your chest and I know these thoughts hurt.

Senior year is when you make the most out of all of these moments, without squashing him.  Take your photos, get your brief hugs, be the proud Mama I know you are.


Crying is for later, or for when he can't see you and you have the chance to see him at a distance.  Wear waterproof mascara and carry eye drops.  Smile. Be Proud.  But do not lay upon him the pressure of a Mama who is coming apart.

Be strong.  I know what you've been through the last few years, and this must feel like one more hurdle and painful reminder of years' passing.  This is a time for joy, though-- you and your husband have raised an amazing kid, one who is fully capable of making those choices and reaching those goals.  This is a time for you to SHINE, because you know how far he's come from that little kindergartner or preschooler on the very first day of school.

Be proud.  Be joyous.  Cry later.

Love you, my friend.

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