Sunday, August 19, 2012

Senior Year Starts in Two Days

This last 18 months has been pretty amazing. The baby and I have taken many trips, including college tours to University of SC, University of FL, University of NC, FSU, College of Charleston and University of N. Florida. We took some other fantastic trips and spent great times with friends and family. I have even found myself in a wonderful new relationship with an awesome man that my friends and family all like. He and I spent the last week on the shores of Ocean Isle Beach, NC with some of his friends, while the baby stayed behind for football practice. As we drove home yesterday, it dawned on me that this is it. Senior year starts on Tuesday and there's no turning back.

I posted a note on Facebook that says, "These kids grow up hella fast," in an effort to tone down my real feelings. It seems so cliche to ask, "Where did the time go?" but that is what I'm thinking. Seems like these last couple of years that we've been talking about colleges and SAT's and what she wants to be when she grows up and getting a driver's license, I have just passed through in a daze. I really haven't spent a lot of time thinking about her finally growing up and moving on. We get along so well, and I know that no matter where she goes, she'll never completely be gone, but we're in for a lot of changes. It seems like these last couple of years, she's been the one hugging me and wiping my tears rather than the other way around.

On Tuesday, she'll start her last year of school and in no time, we'll be shopping for prom dresses. How does a mom go from this:

First day of school Sept. 2000

First day of school Sept. 2000

To this: 

Maddie on the left with new friend, Aug. 2012
and keep her sanity? 

It's so bittersweet to watch her excitement for all the possibilities her life has to offer. She's been such a joy and is rarely unhappy. Tonight, two days before school, she is off with two friends to work on a summer assignment. The world, so to speak, is her oyster and while I'm thrilled for her, I can still remember when she was afraid to spend the night away from me. As she chomps at the bit to embark on her life as an adult, I know that all the efforts to protect her and shape her can sometimes mean nothing if this world wants to get hold of her. I pray that all the hours of pleading with God to guide my parenting and to teach me what I need to teach her have been enough. She has never belonged to me - she is His - I just pray that I've lived up to God's expectations. 

My dearest friend, my niece who is 2 years younger than me, became a grandmother for the first time yesterday. I know that in those hours that she stood by her daughter's side that she was completely overcome in the same way that I am today. Her oldest child, only seven years older than mine, is a beautiful wife and now mother of her own precious daughter. The world continues to turn, our family grows, and we give all the glory to God. 

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