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I’ll just come right out and say it in case you haven’t heard. Raising a teenager is hard. But honestly, staring down the barrel of their last year as a kid is the hardest. My kid, who isn’t so little anymore is a senior this year. It is the first time I have had to do this but I doubt it will get any easier with the second. Letting go, which may not be the exact right term for raising your kid for the last year of childhood, is both heartbreaking and unbelievable. Of course parents have a million questions in their heads. How did it happen so fast? Did I teach them everything they needed to know before being an adult? How many more things can I cram in their heads about life lessons in just a few more months? Did I do my job as a parent to raise a well rounded person? The answer to all these questions will be answered in time but no matter how our children were raised, what they were taught and what they do in their lives our main goal is to make sure they are happy. If they are happy, healthy adults then we did everything we set out to do.
This year I know will be a very emotional time for her and I, I am sure. There are so many firsts with them and so many lasts.( I will be investing in waterproof mascara.) I have been both blessed and cursed to have a child that is a lot like me. Blessed because we get along so well. We can talk and enjoy spending time together. I know it’s a controversial parenting subject but she is also my friend. I think the trick in that is a good balance between parenting and friendship. Mom first and friend second. Cursed because she is stubborn like me and passionate about her opinions. Which don’t always collaborate with mine. I am grateful for it. For all of it.
Not to say that isn’t frustrating at times but having her own opinion and views and passions are what I want for her. Funny how maddening it can be at times. This final year of high school for me is about letting her have wings and make important decisions on her own. I want her to be able to make her own mistakes and her own triumphs. I want to be there when and if she needs a shoulder to cry on. That shoulder will always be there even when she is grown with a family of her own. Any parents out there who feel as conflicted as I do about your kids senior year remember, no matter what, even when your child is an adult, they will always need you. It might be in different ways than you are accustomed to now, but they will still seek your advice. They will still come home. And they will love you always. It is normal to be nervous about sending your baby out into the world. Probably scary as hell. (For me anyway) At the same time we want them to shine. We want everything that they want.
I will be following up here on my blog about thoughts and feelings about the senior year journey. Any one who reads this and feels like I do, you are not alone in this journey. It is hard, yes. But it is worth every moment you get to see them shine.