Stop the clock… I’m not ready!
Make no mistake, I’ve been there and done that twice, but I’m still not remotely prepared for my youngest son to graduate high school in a few weeks. In fact, I’ve been in emotional denial his entire senior year.
Letting go is something I apparently suck at.
Rewind to yesterday.
This newborn baby boy was nuzzled into moms bosom for the better part of his first month, simply because he would not be put down. Seriously, he was like a new adorable appendage. The only sleep Mama Bear got was in the recliner holding him.
He stuck like velcro the entire first year and was affectionately nicknamed velcro baby.
Then I awakened one morning and POOF… my clingy baby had morphed into a toddler on a full-blown quest for autonomy – walking, talking and getting into mischief.
Shortly thereafter, at the tender age of four, my adventure seeking tike began nursery school, and never looked back. He was so proud to be in school. The cherry of this sweet milestone was the procession of miniature graduates parading across stage wearing white cardboard hats adorned with floppy powder blue yarn tassels. Mommy bliss.
Then I woke the following morning, and POOF… my preschooler was now in elementary school and had learned to ride a two-wheeler, bat a ball, tie his shoes and open his own milk carton. There was great anticipation for special school events like picture day, the spring concert, Cub Scouts and field trips.
These were happy and exciting times.
When the sun rose on what seemed like the very next day, POOF… This now pubescent boy was spreading his wings. He went to junior high dances, parties and hung out at the skating rink. He began ditching his bike helmet in the shrubs, because being cool trumped being safe. My man apprentice also started wearing name brand clothing and smelling of Axe body spray.
Good bye to hugs, kisses and holding hands in public.
Time passed and what seemed something like a week later, POOF… somehow this rapidly growing boy was now in high school – earning his varsity letter in sports, getting a drivers license, taking the SAT’s, applying to college, going to the prom and landing his first part-time job.
The little boy now towered over me and I could fit my shoes inside his. I was constantly mistaking his voice for my husbands.
He became a bottomless pit who could consume an entire box of cereal or pizza in a single sitting.
Then one morning before he drove himself to school he said,
“Mom, my senior picture is due for the yearbook on Monday.”
Me – nooooooooo!!!! You were just in kindergarten LAST Monday – how can this be happening?
When I awakened a few months later, he was officially a senior. The final hurrah. Senior recognition night, the final homecoming, class trip and the last dance… the senior ball. Graduation announcements and party invitations started rolling in.
“Mom, tomorrow is the last day to get measured for cap and gown. I need to pay my deposit.”
Me – noooooooo!!! You were just in first grade last Tuesday – how can this be happening?
A couple weeks later the senior yearbook materialized on the kitchen table… The Class of 2015.
When his name is called, he will stroll across the stage – hand extended to proudly accept his diploma, and a sweet era will drift into a cloud of the coveted past tense.
Childhood will be no more.
I know my son is ready to embark on this exciting new journey. He is ambitious, bright and virtuous.
He will do great and I am proud.
I bubble with happiness and sadness simultaneously.
Time to let go.
He was just born last Thursday – a healthy 7 pounds 9 ounces, which feels nothing like 18 years gone by – how can this be happening?
Time really does fly.
Gina Fenton is an obstetrical RN, blogger, wife, mom of four and self-appointed advocate for special needs and mental health. She writes the over-the-top humor blog Extreme Mom for sanity preservation and her own entertainment. Gina lives in Upstate N.Y. with her family, two dogs and ThatGoddamnedCat. Her adventurous everyday tales can be found on Extrememom.net. Her writing has been featured on popular sites like Mamapedia, Bonbon Break, BlogHer, Project Underblog and Mamalode.