Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Year Of Lasts

My son is a high school senior. It didn’t quite sink in until we went to Back To School Night for the last time. I will never again fall asleep to the principal droning on about what a great school year it will be. I'll never again hear the PTSA describe the goal of the annual fundraiser (This year it's a new sound system for the auditorium). I will never again tramp up and down the stairs trying to go from English to Math to Science in five minute intervals just to get all his teachers' e-mail addresses. As silly and pointless as Back To School Night is, in some way I will miss it next year.

A lot of other things we do this year will be for the last time. He is on the last season of marching band. This will be the last homecoming weekend. As he fills out college applications, I realize that any chances for big family vacations are closing.

The apron strings have been steadily fraying for several years. Last November he got my hand me down car and I quit driving him to school on my way to work. That also broke up the band practice car pool. Between his internship and his extracurricular activities, he is rarely home. Much like I was at his age.

I play it light, pretending that I am really excited to get him out of my house. I of course dread facing years of college tuition, but I want him to go to the place that is best for him no what the cost or sacrifice. I’ve got one kid and it is only natural for me to want him to have things I never had.

I keep trying to find the funny spin for this, but there are no easy jokes to be made at his expense. It’s easy to make fun of teenagers. They eat too much. They are disdainful of their parents. They sometimes make hilariously awful choices. And mine only gets to do it in front of me for one more year.

BlatantCommentWhoring™: What should I do to make this year count?


Elizabeth said...

I think it's great you went to "Back to School Night" all four years of high school. My husband teaches English to freshmen, sophmores and juniors. At Back to School Night he sees mostly just the freshmen parents. It might make your son crazy, but I would say take pictures, lots and lots of picturs!
I hope he has a great senior year!
:o) Elizabeth

yellojkt said...

Most of the teachers we visited for senior classes had at most five or six parents show up. The parents just quit checking on the teachers after three years.

Impetua said...

Seriously, you're quite possibly one of the best dads ever. It's so easy to disconnect and not really care what goes on or assume that things are okay. I was fully in college before I met a guy who really showed a lot of love and devotion and dedication to his children. You know, as opposed to my dad and those of many of my friends.

At any rate, I suspect that because you are so close to him now, you will remain so after he leaves for college. In a way you've already done the things that will make this year count.

I don't have any huge ideas for making things count other than spend time together, be interested in the stuff he does, savor this time. And you already do that.

My daughter is only 3 and I'm already wishing I'd had her sooner so I could have spent more time with her. She is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

yellojkt said...

I am far from perfect. My wife yelled at me for wanting to watch Beauty and the Geek instead of helping him with application essay for MIT.

Anonymous said...

My son is 11, and since he is homeschooled and volunteers in my lab, I get to see him a fair amount.

Yet I suspect it will make 7 years from now that much harder.

Impetua said...

That's it! You could take him to Costa Rica, like helpful commenter "omar cruz" suggests...

yellojkt said...

I was going to zap the spam, but since you made such a funny comment about it, I guess I have to leave it.

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