Getting him up and anywhere is difficult, unless of course it is to go to the mall or to hang out with his friends. Sunday I got him up an hour before church started and said good morning! Time to get up and going for church.
As it approached time to leave I heard him in the shower so I thought all was well. We were running late again, but that’s okay we will get there. He was taking his time when I told him it was time to go. It was a silent rebellion, though I didn’t pick up on it.
He came out to the car, finally, and said that he wanted to drive. I said come on. We are late. Get in. He got into the car and said emphatically, church again. The same sermon over and over again. It’s so boring. Do we have to go?
I told him to get out. I didn’t want to go to church with anyone with that kind of attitude.
He realized he had upset me. He said well I didn’t mean to offend you. Too late. Just get out. He did. It was then that I realized we were headed into senior year of high school and everything that comes with it. I have done this three other times. Why didn’t I see it coming?
Guess what the sermon was that week? The prodigal son. Nice. I am not sure if that was a good or bad parenting moment. I feared the greet and meet. What would I tell church members when they asked me where my son was? Umm….we had a fight and I kicked him out of my car?
What does it mean?
For some high school seniors it is a time they are starting to seriously look at what they are going to do after high school. Panic might set in if they don’t know what they want to do. They may make plans and simply wait until it’s time to carry them out. It’s a transition year for many seniors.
When senior year begins I know that I have one school year left to speak into the life of my child before our relationship changes. It’s a time to begin to let go. Let’s see what they do when allowed to make more decisions on their own, when the curfew is thrown out the door, and when you begin to overlook more then you critique.
It’s a time to begin to loosen the reigns. It gives us the opportunity to guide and direct when they mess up. It’s a time to begin to learn that one day very soon we will no longer have the control we once had, and all we will be allowed to do is pray and give advice–when asked.
What about us?
After doing this three times you think I would be used to it, but I am not. I know what to expect. I have an idea of the changes that are coming in our lives. I understand that they will make decisions that fit their life, not mine.
It’s a transition year for us too. A time to prepare for a new future, a time to grieve, and a time to celebrate. What will life look like when they are gone? What will our relationship look like with them? What will we do when they are no longer apart of our everyday life?
I remember sitting outside waiting for the school bus to come to pick up my four kids for the first day of school. My youngest son was preparing to start kindergarten. I had tried to prolong the inevitable, and finally the day came. He had to go.
I smile and waved as all four went off to school. After they were gone I sat and cried. I felt lost. In time I learned to enjoy the time they were away, and when they all came back home it was as if they had never left.
I have had two leave home permanently. I smile and waved when they went off, and cried after they left. Over time I am learning to readjust my life. It’s been a slow adjustment, but over time I am finding a new life for me, a new life with my husband, and a new relationship with adult children.
It’s a special moment of time. It prepares us for what is ahead. It’s a time for them to prepare to leave, and it’s a time for us to prepare to move on.
As you say those last goodbyes to school say hello to a great future. You did a good job mom and dad. Your relationship will change, but it will continue. There are going to be some ups and downs, but in the end you will have an opportunity to develop a relationship with an adult that you gave birth to and raised. It’s a beautiful opportunity. A beautiful friendship to savor and look forward to.