It’s hard for me to believe, but my daughter started high school a couple of weeks ago. Gulp.
This feels different than when she started middle school. For one thing, there’s no school supply list! I loved going to the store with that list and helping my girl choose supplies, even when she didn’t share my taste. How about this pencil case with the cute pink hearts? (Uh, no, Mom.) But in high school, gone is the mile-long list requiring everything from glue sticks to crayons. This time, she doesn’t just get a standard class roster; now, she chooses her own electives (art, music, film, photography—so many choices that sound so grown-up).
What’s mainly different about high school, though, is what comes after. After preschool was elementary school—a jump from a few hours a day in a classroom to the big-time of all-day first grade. After elementary school was the leap to middle school and the wonder of changing classrooms and using lockers. After middle school, high school awaits. But unlike all those other transitions, after high school, my job as a mom will no longer be the same.
Thank goodness I have four years to prepare, because right now just thinking about a household without my girl in it every day is more than my head and heart can comprehend. So, I will not waste time during this period. Because I know that in four short years…
The house will be quiet.
I’ll look up from the computer at 3:30, but no one will burst through the door.
My laundry basket will shrink immensely.
I won’t hide presents.
The neighbor kids won’t ring the doorbell.
My calendar won’t contain the words “drop-off” or “pick-up.”
The piano will sit, unplayed.
I won’t hear fun text tones all night from my daughter’s cell phone.
I won’t rush home from wherever I am to make sure I’m home when the bus drops off.
My grocery cart will have only boring foods and no Oreos.
I won’t watch my daughter and husband play Scrabble.
The biggest adventure of my life will change direction.
My girl can call and text me.
My girl can Skype with me. (If only they had hug-a-vision Skype!)
I can send my girl a care package, especially when she has a lot of papers due.
My girl can come home for holidays.
My girl will be doing what she’s supposed to be doing.
I know it will be hard. Saying goodbye to someone you adore is never easy. But it won’t really be goodbye, it’ll be “Call me! Text me! Skype me!” For now, knowing that four years can fly by, I can try to remember to interact with my girl a little more, appreciate her a little more, hold her for a little longer. I can realize that no, my job will not end. A mother is forever. My job description will change, yes, and my girl won’t need me in the same every-day type of way. But a daughter will always need her mother.
And a mother can always send a package of Oreos to her child, along with a note reminding her to text.
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