Being a Parent

I just finished watching my youngest child get her senior pictures taken.

I am not ready for this.

I have the fortune or misfortune of having 2 children that are 3 years and 8 months apart.  The fortune/misfortune part is that they are 4 years apart in school, such that I actually have two kids graduating next spring.  My mother in law has already suggested we get hotel reservations for next spring for the College graduation.  I won’t go on about my mother in law, but I really don’t think its necessary to get reservations this far in advance.  I did get reservations for the November University of Michigan vs Ohio State football game already, but that’s for a smaller city and a bigger crowd.

As my oldest daughter pointed out when she graduated, its easy to graduate from High school.  Currently, High schools are evaluated on percentage graduation and even with the increased scrutiny and requirements (assessment exams, service learning, etc.), they seem to be willing to bend over backwards to get as many students as possible to graduate.  I know from third hand information what they did for a frenemy of my oldest child that they will go out of their way to pass you and get your service learning hours in.

But, even though I know the College graduation is much more important, the High school graduation is bothering me more. Maybe its because she’s my youngest and maybe its because I’m here and the school is here and so I’m more involved in it.  College students are much more independent than High school students and they should be.  So, while I hear from my daughter in College all of the time, I don’t have to take care of much for her.  Plus, she’s much more independent than my younger daughter.

I know that its different for everyone, how you deal with these milestones.  But, I think I’m a bit logical  or maybe even callus about these things.  For example, I was kind of relieved when my babies started going to daycare.  Not that I wasn’t worried about them being miss-treated while out of my sight, but I did my best to pick a good place and I figured the odds were in my favor that they would be fine and set those feelings aside.  I deal with a lot of things that way.

For senior pictures here, they do a drape for the girls and offer a cap and gown shot.  The photographer was showing parents a preview of the shots to ask if they were good.  Her shots were okay (what could I say:  “Make her act natural.”)  I said they were great, but when he showed me the cap and gown shots, well….it choked me up a bit.  I can’t believe she’s nearly all grown up.

The years went so fast.  And, man, I don’t feel like I enjoyed them as much as I could have.  I spent too much time stressing about everything.  I know I had moments where I sat back and enjoyed.  Even though the kids fought in the car and yelled too much, we also sang a lot of songs together (Beastie Boys comes to mind). One time, I taught the kids to talk like Ms. Fowl from Jimmy Neutron and met my husband at the door with it as he arrived home very late from work.  We also chose additional middle names for the kids one day from an article about hot peppers.  My youngest added a few more, so the list was something like Savannah (actual middle name) Banana (pepper) Miranda Tigger Wendy Spongebob (or something else with 2 syllables.

Sometimes we danced together or played together, but not often because its just so hard to fit that stuff into a busy day.  And if you do it too much, I guess its not special.

Oh well, time marches on and at least we have some videos.


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