“What it's like to be a parent:
It's one of the hardest things you'll ever do
but in exchange it teaches you
the meaning of unconditional love.”
~ Nicholas Sparks, The Wedding
Today marks his First Last.
The first day of his last year in high school.
I suppose with everything else that's been happening in our family I hadn't given it much thought…any thought.
Which, oddly, is not to say we haven't talked about it (a lot) because it, being his Senior Year and all, has been a determining factor in where he lives and goes to school. The scale tipped back and forth as we weighed "International School Experience" against "Senior Year"…one side an elephant, the other, rhinocerous. The answer was slippery-er than a seal and carved new lines at the corners of my eyes.
White noise muffled the heart sounds. Mental assent is sometimes smoke and mirrors.
Until our return trip home the other day.
My oldest boy is a senior.
He's old enough to vote.
And see R-rated movies without my permission.
And fight in wars that no one really wins.
He is the most like me, this one. Everybody knows it. It is good and not so good and no one knows why better than me.
He has superpowers, too, and his sister insists that I stop naming them. That, she tells me, gives the powers more strength. She's right.
I pray he uses them for good because they're difference makers.
When he has pain, I feel it.
When he is troubled, I know without a word.
When he's done wrong, it breaks his heart he's broken mine.
What joy to see your boy's potential; hope is seeded in those dreams, isn't it?
As parents, don't we see what our children are capable of before they do? Wouldn't we dare will it if possible?
We don't want them to make mistakes or choices that will bear unfortunate future consequence. But isn't it those very things that transform boys into men?
How much more boring would our lives have been if his halo wasn't so cock-eyed.
He has challenged me, this middle-child-like-me, and sometimes made it difficult to like him. There's no shame for either of us in that as far as I'm concerned; because our relationship has climbed rocks, we have smoothed out. He has made me a better mother because he demanded that I work harder; not to earn love or perform better but to see him for who HE is and to learn I wouldn't want it any other way. I'm rather certain God was accomplishing a great work in me through tempests with him.
He is stronger than he knows, a friend who loves to the full, and compassionate when another might need that touch. And he makes me laugh the best.
We've trained him up in the way he should go and soon enough it will be up to him To Go.
I hold him with loose hand and expectant heart.
In him, I see a great Becoming.
I cannot wait to read the rest of his story.
As always, beautiful Robin, you have brought tears to this mother’s eyes.
Here I am, tearing up at your words again. What a gift you have with words. I hope this year of last firsts is wonderful for everyone.
Thank you– My sweet Boy is heading to his first real day of Middle School- as he sat in my lap this morning hugging me and saying “I don’t want to go to Middle School, in my heart I said “me either” , but my mouth said “Sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to” –thank you for this inspiring post just on time!
I cannot wait to see you next week; and since it’ll be Rachel’s 20th immediately following Thomas’ first week as a senior, I’ll likely have tears in MY eyes, too. (thank you for commenting, friend.)
Thank you, Nicole, sincerely. And I’m hopin’ the same thing you’re hoping; a lovely thought xo.
Oh…Lisa…isn’t every milestone a challenge in its own way? Thank you for reading and sharing where YOU are right now; I’m honored. 🙂
Oh those middle children! They DO make us work harder, don’t they? Mine as well. But, like yours, she makes me laugh harder than everyone else–she just waits until the time is right, then slips in something hysterical. Opens my eyes to who she is every time.
P.S. So what did you decide about h.s.?
Today was my son’s first last day of high school too; my first born and the only boy of three. The one who tugs at my heart like no other. Your words spoke so much! I need a tissue.
I am right there, even as a homeschooling mom. I cannot express where my heart lies. I am mom, trusting I have raised a man while holding on and letting go to the husband he is to become for his future bride. 🙂