Brian is a senior in high school this year and in our world that means that we have had senior lunch, senior video, and senior-riding-on-the-firetruck-in-the-Homecoming-parade that I've had to witness and/or participate in as well. There have been other senior moments this week that I'm sure I'm forgetting...which I suppose constitutes a senior moment of another kind entirely in itself.
Brian is my second child, so this whole "senior year thing" is not my first rodeo. That doesn't mean that I don't care...it just means that the blush is off the rose. It's like picking out everything that you are getting for Christmas and then opening your gifts and going "Yay! Just what I wanted!" I mean, there is only so much enthusiasm that one can muster up in this situation. Because what is coming is fairly predictable. If the school is good at anything...and it is actually quite good at many things...but it is especially good at maintaining traditions.
I had fun talking with some of the Moms at these various events this week. Some of them have been at it longer than I have because some of them have four and five children. Some, like me, are wrapping it up this year. Others were blessed with children who showed up when they thought they were done...and so they'll be around for awhile. Others are wide-eyed and excited because they've never been through it before. I remember it well.
The Moms are fun, though. Because our children have attended the same school...on the same campus...since kindergarten...we're pretty much like family by now. Fortunately, we tend to like each other in spite of that. We know each other's strengths and weaknesses as well as our place in the group. We work together, don't have any prima donnas, and we all show up for most everything. We're just all in shock that these kids are talking about where they've been accepted to college. Seems like we were all just stressing out over the fact that they were driving.
I suppose that the coming months will race by like all other senior years tend to do. I've been watching classes pretty significantly since 2005 and can locate most of them in the memory banks of my heart. I've seen football games, endured cheerleading tryouts, and enjoyed hearing the band and seeing the dance team perform...for years. I've seen class parties that we throw that the kids take for granted because we've been doing it since they were barefoot walking up and down the halls. (Yeah, another one of those traditions. Shoes are not required until the 4th grade.) We've worked together, mourned together, and grown together as parents through the years. And here we are in the home stretch about to dismount the horse we've been riding all of these years. It's okay, though...because we'll be hopping on another one called "college" soon enough.
Yes, this week I was reminded that I've been there...done that. As I watched the parade, I saw in my mind's eye my beautiful Jill as a cheerleader marching in the parade. I saw the boy she dated in high school - a football player - as a senior dressed in his coat and tie in my memory. I saw Brian in braces when he was in the 7th grade...his first year to participate. Today, I saw three beautiful Senior girls that were chosen for the Homecoming Court (along with representatives from grades 7-11) and remembered the names of the queens from 2003 forward.
I remembered the Powder Puff game and how Jill was so happy to be a part of that when she was in 9th grade. She met that boyfriend she had during Homecoming because he was the coach for her grade. The following year, at the Homecoming Dance...he asked her to be his girlfriend. All of those memories...bittersweet.
But I look ahead at what is yet to come. Times that we will try to make this final year of their time at Trinity meaningful and celebratory...because is it something they've earned...and of course...a tradition. I know from experience how fast it will go by. I know that the past three years - the last time I was a mother of a senior - certainly have.
I'm blessed to have been there...done that. And at times when I think that I know everything that is coming...I hope that I'm surprised in a pleasant way from time to time. That I have a good conversation with a kid that I discover has grown into the fabulous young man or woman that I always knew he or she would. That I strengthen bonds of friendship that will last beyond the whole "friends for a season" expectation. That I will stop and enjoy this time because when my son graduates next May...I will graduate as well.
And I think when this senior year is over...I'll be ready. Hope so.