This morning, I did something I will never get to do again. I woke up a son for his first day of the new school year. Yes, my youngest child is going to his first day of his senior year. Sigh.
Sometimes I wonder if there's something wrong with me. Other mothers I knew cried when their children started school. They grieved when their children entered high school, and bawled at graduation, as if each new step was about what they were leaving behind and not what was next. They grieve over their children's growing.
Not me. I've been as excited for my children as they were for themselves. New adventures, new stages in their lives, it's all good. The way I see it, God gave us these two boys to raise up, teach, love, guide, feed (!!!!!), care for and let go of. The idea is that we are supposed to rear our children to be honorable men, independent, capable, successful, happy, balanced, productive, loving, compassionate MEN. Part of our job is to give them the tools they need to do all of those things. I hope we got it right.
I cherished each of their stages as they grew, and enjoyed the time as it came. I didn't grieve for the babyhood when they became toddlers. Why would I? I got to enjoy all the wonder of youth again, through their bright young eyes.
Now my youngest is embarking on his final year as a "child". When this school year is over, he'll be 18, with the whole world before him. He'll be in charge of his own destiny and his own life in a whole new way. Do you remember how that felt? I do! Exciting, scary, challenging and intimidating, too.
I'm looking forward to what the coming years will bring. I enjoy the day, and where he is in his maturation right this moment, and I cherish all that I was privileged to see as he got to this point. I wonder who he will choose to marry, and what his children might be like. But that's for another day and I'm in no hurry. Where he is is a good place to be in. He's a senior: top dog in the pecking order of the public school system. He has friends and a loving family, a truck and a job and cool teachers and the lowest level of responsibility he will have for the rest of his life. Why would I feel sad?