My 30th and last semester as a high school mom

Was this a momentous week for you?

It was for me.

I woke up early some days and dragged myself to the Y. I lingered in my warm bed other days, sipping tea my husband brought me and spending a ridiculous amount of time calculating the exact moment I would have to step out of those covers in order to make it to work on time.

I did some laundry, paid a bill or two and, as is my lone Type A habit, made my bed every morning.

I didn’t grocery shop and therefore fashioned a respectable meal out of wilted spinach leaves and frozen beef.

And then, in a casual conversation with my youngest daughter, I realized that this week marked the beginning of my very last semester as a high school parent.

I know in most families this milestone passes without comment. But, we’ve been lingering in this delicious space for 15 years.

It’s been our enormous pleasure to fill small paper bags with fresh popcorn and sell them at concession stands, to sit tensely on bench seats, to cheer wildly and, once or twice, to play the kazoo at high school football games.

We’ve worn a path down the auditorium aisle for choir, band and orchestra concerts and I promise you we loved each one.  In that room, with its comfortable staggered chairs in every row but K, we’ve leapt to our feet in universal applause, held our breath in nervous anticipation, welled up for the sheer sweetness of high school kids who love to sing, and marveled at the sound of instruments we’d never heard at home.

We’ve been so very lucky to live in a community that supports the arts and among passionate and talented directors who develop them.

We’ve driven cars full of perfumed dresses and starched shirts, and stinky practice uniforms. We’ve nursed some injuries and wounded egos, celebrated important achievements like good grades, unexpected awards, coveted roles, and accepted prom dates.

We’ve increased our car insurance and limited our sleep; shaken hands with a whole bunch of amazing teachers and rolled our eyes at a clunker or two; searched frantically for lost uniforms and found genuine friendship; consoled runner-ups and cheered a runner who finished last in Every. Single. Race.

I’m sure I’ll spend this last semester the same way I spent the previous 29 – racing forgotten items to school, writing last minute checks, searching everywhere for a shirt someone borrowed without asking, proofreading papers due within the hour, dozing restlessly until that final late-night side door slam, tripping over shoes piled by the door and unsuccessfully urging extra layers of clothing.

And I’ll treasure every moment. Pass me the Kleenex, here we go.

Molly and Charlie
This picture makes me laugh because just after I took it Molly jumped down and said, “Eeew. He’s all sweaty!” Our high school football years were filled with stinky clothes, tense games, injuries, titles, position battles and a whole lot of fun. Our boys learned to accept criticism, encourage teammates, appreciate discipline, rise early and work hard.
vinnie pj
A high school yearbook featured this lovely shot of my 17-year old son prancing through the high school hallways in my pink pajama pants.
Vinnie's Homecoming 005
This is one of the sweetest Homecoming pictures I’ve ever taken.
Charlie and Suzie Homecoming 2002
This is also the sweetest Homecoming picture I’ve ever taken.
Molly at Holiday Classics
All those choir concerts! I welled up at every one.
Katherine as Miranda
Katherine as Miranda in 2004 listened to her director’s notes intently. Don’t even get me started on the theatre years…
molly and katherine
A high school production of Beauty and the Beast with a little village child named Molly. By the end of this school year, our kids will have participated in 50 theatre productions directed by the gifted Ron Parker. We have been so incredibly lucky to have been parents at that school!

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