I’ve traveled Senior Road to graduation before. It was three years ago, when we walked it with The Practical One. Familiarity doesn’t make it any easier this time around. In fact, since Miss Whimsy is number two out of two… which translates to last… I think it makes it even harder.
The road to graduation is filled with “lasts”. I snapped this picture of Miss Whimsy in August as she whizzed out the driveway on her last first day of school. She smiled and waved as she always does. I smiled and waved back… glad that she couldn’t see the tears on the porch from her place on the road.
I cried because it was the last, the very last, time that I would line up a daughter by the fireplace for our traditional first day of school picture. I cried because I had a decent kid, a kid who still let me carry on my sentimental traditions though she was 17… and not 7. I cried because I knew that the next “first” day of school would be a day she walked alone. No hovering photo op mom… no fireplace photo… no breakfast basket full of Mommy Points to nibble along the way.
I cried because the goofy little girl who wore hair bows larger than her peanut head was leaving my nest. And I knew that my world was never going to be the same.
The journey down Senior Road is lined with little historical markers. We passed the last first day of school…and then the last cross country meet. Today, she left for her last trip to the State German Convention. Gratefully, Super Dad was home to oversee the project as we loaded Vera and company into the car, substituting the Vera large duffel, pillow, and blanket for the 50 pound book bag. More gratefully, he was there to hug me after she left. And I could see in his face that he understood.
I remember when this little girl whooshing off to her last German Convention was a baby. A friend, one who had daughters just a little older than my girls, talked of rocking her babies to sleep. She said that with her older daughter, she hadn’t realized that one night would be the last night for the rocking. She said that the last rocking night always came without warning, that your child never looks at you and says, “Mom, enjoy this tonight….because tomorrow, I’m putting myself to bed.” Thinking back to my previous rocking days with The Practical One, I knew that my friend was right. It had, indeed, come without warning.
So with little sister, I savored each night just a little bit longer. I treated each night as if it could, potentially, be my last rocking night.
And one night, it was. And I was so glad that I had cherished the moment.
So forgive me if I’m less than witty this morning. I’m having a Mommy Moment. It, like time, will pass.