My son, Lance, has officially started his senior year of high school. It’s hard to believe he will be graduating at the end of this school year. As I anticipate all of the great experiences he’ll have this year, I find myself reliving my own senior year and allowing the sense of nostalgia to flood my mind with memories.
I remember being co-class president with Bridgette, who happened to be one of the smartest people in our class. I remember dancing until I had leg cramps in a “Dance-a-Thon” fundraiser we held to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy. I remember the disappointment of not being allowed to attend a weekend trip to the beach with friends, as my parents feared that 18-year-olds, alcohol, and the ocean might not be the safest combination. I remember getting a standing ovation after delivering the graduation speech that my mom helped me write. Lastly, I remember a sense of completion twinged with sadness, though I was hopeful about starting the next phase of my life.
Now, I am experiencing senior year from a different point of view. We are ready to embark on this process of finding the perfect place to extend his development to become a Broadway Actor, which by definition means he is not planning to return to live in Charlotte. This gives our last year living together clarity and makes our opportunity to prepare him really finite. As a parent, I naturally worry whether or not we have taught him all he needs to know to navigate the world.
Have we taught him how to be aware of the ways in which someone might try to take advantage?
Have we talked enough about romantic relationships and how to have healthy ones?
Did he gain enough knowledge to manage his finances properly and about his own personal accountability?
Is he clear on our values and developed his own?
So much to consider. I think of all of these questions and then think of Lance. There is always more we could’ve taught him, yet I am confident in the young man he has become. I know he will be just fine. And, I guess since we are not breaking ground as the first parents to prepare to send their son off to college, I am guessing we will be okay, too.
Our theme song is “We’ve Only Just Begun” by The Carpenters.