Wednesday, April 13, 2016

59 days

Eight weeks and three days.  That's what's left until our youngest son graduates high school.  59 days until he's free of getting up at 6:30 to go to his first class.  Less than a month until he takes his final AP test.  Less than two months left of high school track.  Less than two weeks until he has an interview for a summer job.  A month until awards night.  Just over eight weeks of conversations with the coaches and teachers that have become friends, not just authorities.  Those that have shaped him and helped him get ready for college. Less than four months until our youngest steps on campus to report for football practice, and then shortly there after his first college class, and the fraternity he can't wait to pledge.

Just over a month until our oldest walks across the stage at college.  Resumes are being drafted, portfolios are being polished, Senior projects are being completed, and next steps are being made.   The month will bring parties and events with the friends he made after he walked away from high school so eloquently and put the bullshit behind him. It also brings a ton of work but I promise it's worth it in the end.   He'll walk the stage the day after the love of his life walks hers.

What does this mean for us as parents?  It's the end of 17 years of elementary, middle and high school days and the beginning of another four years of education. We live two blocks from our kids grade school, where my husband went. Every time we drive by I think about the teachers that helped shape our boys.  I think about the times the boys stopped in to see Mrs. Erickson and how she became more a friend than just another teacher.  She helped our boys choose the paths they are on.  We are one mile from their middle school where they found their love of art and chemistry, and two miles from the high school that polished their study habits and taught them who their true friends are, and where they spent days after day at practice, or in the weight room, to be ready for game day.

Our youngest came home with his cap and gown today and Shit.Got.Real.  It's really 59 days.  I remember 482 days. I remember 1,712 days. I remember 6,205 days.  I remember countless practices, and games.  I will remember baseball and football meetings and fundraisers galore.  I'll be thankful for not having to go to conferences because frankly why go when your kids get A's.  I'll remember being the homework Nazi and thank the Lord that I was, because when we write a check for $335.00 for a tuition bill that could have been $46,911 it will all make sense.

I hope our kids learned from us and realize that when we put our foot down, it was for a reason. It wasn't because we wanted them to hate us, or that we enjoyed the scowling at dinner.  We were hard on them so they knew that actions brought consequences and you should never step over the line, unless you have a damn good reason.

Just four months until we are empty nesters.   What does that mean?  Smaller grocery bills, road trips to school and football games, not having to rush through dinner, and rediscovery.  Movies just because.  Date nights.  Less laundry.  And jars of peanut butter and gallons of milk that don't disappear.

Just 59 days until we are sitting in the gym at school watching our youngest walk across the stage with the kids we've watched grow up.  Sixty days until we think what's next.

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