Hey Y'all. I am praying for us.
If you think things feel weird now, it’s only going to feel even more strange as this year goes by at warped speed. Just wrapping up one senior year and strengthening myself to dive right into another, I just wanted to share a couple of lessons I learned the hard way, after too many tears and arguments at home in hopes to save the money you will spend on Kleenex. So, here goes this momma heart:
-Every Parent is in the Same Boat. You are no more collected than the next person. We all are going to face the ups and downs no matter what demographic you come from. No amount of spiritual training, monetary security or endless parental love is going to exempt you from the feels of a senior year. Let’s just be here for one another. We all are in the same boat.
-Don’t Overthink Anything. Treat each day like you would a day in the younger grades. Your kids are not going to appreciate the last “firsts” like us parents do. If you want to celebrate it, go for it. But don’t expect them to appreciate it like you do.
-Be Available. But expect nothing. There is no established quota for how many times your kids will need you. I have concluded, the less my laser-focused first born needed me, the better I did my job instilling independence. Vomit a little then celebrate it!
-Don’t stalk them. At least obviously. Parent game on folks. Be present but let them try this independence on for size while they still must report home every day. You will be entitled to ABSOLUTELY NO INFO when they move to college. (barf, barf, barf)
-They are NOT going to seek you out to spend time with you. It’s totally natural. But I sure adore you all. Call me instead! When you are feeling lonely or just need some company – I’m your huckleberry. By the way, I love to walk. And…
-They won’t sit with you at sporting events. Come sit with us parents instead! But you really should go to anything you can. My kids are horrified when I tell them I am still going to go after they graduate. “That’s creepy mom!” Oh! Which reminds me about this…
-They will judge you on EVERYTHING! You may have been cool, but they are now horrified by every…single…thing you do. Seriously, I was suddenly where I wasn’t supposed to be; not where I WAS supposed to be, and always said the most uncool things. I couldn’t do anything right. I was embarrassed for a while. Now I realize why old people don’t care anymore. It starts when their kids are seniors in high school. Thick skin my friends. Thick skin and CON-FI-DENCE!
-Randomly Bake. You are going to talk too much for their ears this year. Every parent does. Hush your mouth and just bake something. Then let it play out by itself. I am not even kidding about this. My kids know I scrub things when I am stressed. So, they would avoid me. But baking??!?! Yeah, no one is angry when they smell yummy, gooey chocolate chip cookies. Shut up and just bake.
-Worry only about YOUR KID. Every single one of us is struggling with the same emotions, decisions, tiredness, homework, etc. at different times throughout the year. Focus ONLY on your own kid. Your tribe may be on a mountain today while another tribe will be in a valley. At any given mill-a-second, that could change. Take care of your own.
-Do Not Fear Being Left Out. There is only so much time in a senior year. Your kids can’t be at everything or monetarily afford to do everything. Calm down! They all play different sports and have different activities. There WILL be scheduling conflicts. Do what you and your family can or are willing to do. IT IS OKAY TO MISS SOME THINGS.
And most importantly…
-DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY.
Remember, our babies have worked their WHOLE LIVES for this year; to be Top Dogs. Their WHOLE LIVES. Even the best ones can have moments of arrogance & selfishness. It’s okay. We have prayed over them to have confidence and courage. They are now going to give that a try. Just walk next to them while they do. Offer corrections on the ugly, compliment the good actions. They will start to calm down again after the second half of the year when their worlds begin to get shaky again at the thought of what happens after high school.
I hope this helps. By all means, I don’t know much, but I do know that start of senior year looks way different than the moment you drop them at college. My heart at the beginning had a much different beat then what it is 4 days before I drop my kid at college. I will pray for all of us. And please know my prayers are for you.
If you ever need to talk, PLEASE call. I am here. If there is anything I can ever do, I will do it.
Merianne (Mer) Colletti