As R.E.M. so eloquently stated: It's the end of the world as we know it. But I don't know if I feel fine... You see, it's the beginning of the end of the beginning of the world as we know it here at our house: Z started his senior year in high school last week.
As many parents have discovered before me: holy cow.
We work so hard to give them roots and wings, and then the ungrateful little ragamuffins want to actually use those wings? Wait, that wasn't in the manual...
It's a time wrapped up in mixed emotions and the "lasts": "last" school clothes shopping day; "last"school supply shopping list; "last" first day of school; "last" school picture; "last" first day of school dinner out; "last"... Not that he won't need things at college or eat, but he'll do that wherever he lands -- by himself and with new people.
I'm really so proud of him -- he's achieved so much, and challenged himself; made such good friends who are good people; he's walked the walk and done the work to apply to colleges. He's a good person. Kind. Intelligent. Healthy. Strong. Talented. Funny.
But I feel resentment. I resent that the time went by so, so fast. Why didn't anyone tell me? (oh yeah, they did -- I just chose to not believe them). Infant to toddler, to preschool then kindergarten, then onward to elementary school, and then off to middle school. It all rolled along just as it should have.
And then we hit some kind of time warp-wormhole because high school is just about over and it can't be because it just started! What is it about these last 3 or 4 years that just pick up speed and charge ahead, careening towards graduation day?
I cop to some guilt about being excited to have an "empty nest," too -- usually right after I cry a little bit about how much I'll miss my son. If you try to understand how you can swing so easily between feelings, you'll lose (what's left of) your mind.
I don't pretend to understand it; I'm just along (semi-reluctantly) for the ride.