It’s that hectic morning you’ve experienced for years. Wake the kids, pack their lunches, feed them, snap a photo and send them off to the first day of school. Only this year it is your youngest child’s first day of his Senior year of high school. It is the beginning of the end. The year of the “lasts”. This is the last day you will wake him for his first day of school. The last day you will take that classic first day of school photo. The last day you will pack a school lunch after summer break. Yes, I still pack his lunches. It is something I enjoy doing. As I quietly weep over the tasks I am doing for the last time, the same tasks I use to find so mundane, I realize this is the beginning of the end of a season. My husband and I will be empty nesters when our son finishes this school year and moves off to college. That’s it. No more routine life as I know it.
I am not sure how to feel about that right now. It is unknown territory. That will be a post for later down the road. What I do know is that I want to enjoy every single moment I have left with my child at home. As a mom, it is easy to want to mourn all the lasts and make a fuss about them. So what can we do to savor this time we have left?
Be involved. Attend their events; games, ceremonies and performances. Have meaningful conversation, with interest, as often as possible. Discuss their future plans and assist accordingly. They will need some assistance with college applications. Take it all in, every moment. Enjoy the last Homecoming dance, the last time cheering their name from the stadium, the last Prom and likely their last birthday at home.
Teach life lessons. Use this time to teach any of the things you have forgotten to share to prepare them for independence. We often assume they know how to do things that are so simple and repetitive in our lives, but they actually do not. These teachable moments can be very gratifying.
Make memories. Plan special outings and time spent together. Do something you really wanted to do before they left home…
This year will go by very fast. Before you know it your child is taking the walk for his diploma. We recently experienced the “lasts” with our daughter that is now a college Sophomore. From this experience I know there are amazing times ahead for our relationship with our son. Try not to get caught up in the sadness. That doesn’t mean we can’t cry. Lord knows I will be bawling like a baby during Football Senior night, basketball, prom, graduation etc. Just make sure to be in the moment. Live the moment and enjoy the here and now.