Melancholy over Senior Year~but at least I get to experience it!

Brandon is a senior a today~there is no getting around it!

I have been avoiding the topic like the plague, pretending that my world will not be changing in less than a year.

Many of you know that I have been having a very hard time with Brandon entering his senior year in high school.

Where did the time go?  Someone please enlighten me!

I know that everyone says that but you truly don’t believe it until it happens to you, and you are the one actually living it.  I listen to friends with young one’s moan and groan, can’t wait for their kids to start kindergarten.  I tell them over and over again, to enjoy this time…no matter how crazy it is, and sleep deprived they are.  As soon as the kids enter school, the time flies by.

It is a fact of life…. we have children…raise them to the best of our ability…. giving them the necessary tools to be successful in life…. and then they leave us! Just like that…. in a blink of an eye.

My niece left for Ole’ Miss this weekend, the last of my sister’s children to leave the nest. I know she is having a hard time with the fact, not quite sure what direction her path should take next. Too many choices and options, and no one to prepare you emotionally for all of the changes careening in your direction.

My wake-up call came in the form of Mitch P, an 18 year old that I have watched grow into the young man that he is for the past 13 years.  I was leaving for work and he was loading up his parents van, heading to campus later that day.   I was frozen…transfixed…. unable to move forward.  Our 4 boys’ stair step each other, and he is the first to leave.  The transition is happening, whether I am ready for it or not.  I met him halfway in the yard, and enveloped him in a ‘mom’ hug…. promising him care packages throughout the year.  Hey!  That is my solution….I get to bake (and share with you), and then I can haul it away to eager/hungry college boys.  My caboose is liking this concept!!

Brandon and I have had our struggles over the years, what parent hasn’t!!  A roller coaster ride that has included a few dips, brain rattling sharp curves and many bumps and bruises along the way~often making you wonder why you decided to take that particular ride in the first place.  That roller coaster has also provided me the uphill anticipation, witnessing all of the ‘firsts’, rejoicing in victories and hard-fought battles on and off the ice, his sheer joy at earning the independence of a drivers’ license, and his goofy smile that literally lights up his eyes and melts my heavy heart.  I wouldn’t have missed this ride for anything!

Some say that kids start to rebel their junior year and continue thru their senior year, causing a rift in relationships.  It is their way of detaching from their parents’ fold and nest.  Doing this allows them to demonstrate the independence needed for college, and don’t have parent’s helping to make every decision for them (thinking about helicopter’s aren’t you?).   They say it also allows the parent’s an easier separation, as they will want the obnoxious, strong-willed teenager out of their house.  This may all be true, but I still can call it Bullshit….

I do not have all of the answers yet!  What I do know is that I am thankful for the OPPORTUNITY of having a Senior year with my child.

This past week I received news that an incoming freshman to my Alma Mater (Harrison High School) was declared brain-dead after incurring injuries from an ATV accident.  Even though I am far removed from the W. Lafayette community, and not familiar with this family, my chest became tight trying to hold back the tears that were flowing freely down my cheeks.  I thought about Matt, who died in a car accident during Purdue’s Grand Prix event.  I was Brandon’s age…. and still remember it to this day.  Twenty-five years ago I didn’t realize the magnitude of losing a child, only the sadness of losing a friend!

I struggled and prayed when I read a passage written by the little girls’ mother on her Caring Bridge site:

“How can a Mom begin to let herself believe that her precious baby girl is never coming home?  I have no idea how I am even able to breath the pain is so bad.  Maya’s compassion and loving spirit helped guide us to the decision to donate her organs to help other families avoid this heartbreak.  Until they take her to surgery, I am able to spend some last precious moments holding her hand and even snuggling next to her in her hospital bed.”

So brave of this Mom, fighting with her inner demons and angst, somehow finding the strength to carry on.  They made the right decision, and Maya will live on in countless ways, and in many people.  I can’t imagine having her strength…please God…. don’t test me!

So this post is no longer about Brandon being a Senior, and my impending heartache of him transitioning to college.  It is now one of GRATITUDE ~~~ thanking the Lord that Brandon is safe and healthy, and that he has offered me the chance to have a Senior year with my child………….

Forget the crap that goes along with parenthood, tell your kids you love them…..all…of ….the…..time, and remind yourself that life is precious, we do not know when it will be taken away from us.

Every day we are tempting time……..                   



2 thoughts on “Melancholy over Senior Year~but at least I get to experience it!

  1. Oh, Shaunna……making me tear up first thing Monday morning?!? (: As usual, your words paint a picture that is all too clear. But, take heart, you have so much to look forward to! I, like you, really enjoyed my son’s school years, especially high school. That “last” football game was heart-wrenching! After 3 years of cooking for the team, 3 years of watching my boys turn toward manhood, I thought “this is the end”. Not so. So far, college has been even better! Yes, he moved out of our house. No, I don’t see him every day. BUT…’s not like it was when we went to school. Facebook, texting, email… many ways to keep in touch! And, now he has a whole new group of friends that we just LOVE! He has experienced so much, learned so much, from this experience on a diverse campus! It’s so fun to see him so happy, so excited. He was excited to start his freshman year, but so much more so to get back this year! And, yes, the care packages……I think a boy’s biggest fear is that he may not get enough to eat! They get so excited when they get the packages! ENJOY EVERY MINUTE of the senior year (it does fly by!!), and don’t spend too much time dreading next year. SO many possibilities……for both of you!

    Great blog entry!!

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