Senior year is almost over for my ‘practice kid. My firstborn. The one who helped me figure out how to be a mom. As I wrap my head around the logistics of moving him into college across the country, there are so many things I want to do. So many things I want to say. So many things I want to share. And I’m running out of time.
Most importantly I want to share how incredibly proud I am. We’ve worked together through the challenges of high school, the college acceptance letters, the college rejection letters, and found the perfect next step. It’s such an exciting time being on top of the ‘High School Food chain.’ Yet as I battle nostalgia, I feel bittersweet wondering what the heck happened to the past few years.
In eighth grade, you spent a few months basking in the pride of being accepted to Loyola High School. One of those ‘elite Los Angeles’ schools that is now in the news. You were not a legacy. We didn’t make a huge donation. You felt it was the perfect school for you and put in the hard work to get there. HSPT test prep, practice tests, letters of recommendation, you did it all. And I will never forget your face when you found out you were accepted.
Your hard work paid off.
Shortly after our whole family was shaken to the core with my cancer diagnosis. I’m so sorry. I wish I could have changed things. The heartbreak of seeing you scared, worried, fragile… yet pretending to be strong around me, was almost more than I could bear. And I know it was almost more than you could bear.
High School Years
Entering high school at your most fragile and vulnerable must have sucked for you. Yet you soldiered on. That’s what I admire the most about you. Your resilience in the face of adversity. You never give up, you just try harder.
The past four years I’ve watched you slowly grow out of your teenage awkwardness and evolve into a confident, funny, strong and kind man. So here we are racing through senior year. Prom is in the distance (you looked super handsome by the way), High school graduation is approaching, and Senioritis is in full effect.
A mother’s love is not easy to put into words. The moment I met you, my heart filled with so much happiness that it was almost painful. Now when I see your hairy face and broad shoulders, I appreciate how much you’ve grown, and appreciate what an incredible young man I’ve raised. Except you raised me as much as I raised you.
You taught me unconditional love, patience (well I’m still working on that one), and sacrifice. Senior year is the time to celebrate, smile and be proud. Let’s enjoy every single second we have left together, and not sweat the small stuff. Now is the time to discover the world on your own. There will never be another time in your life when you’re so free from responsibilities. Spread your wings. Have fun and enjoy your victory lap bud. You deserve it.
Am I going to miss you terribly when you leave for college? Of course I am. You are the son every mom dreams of. I guarantee I’ll do the ugly cry on more than one occasion in the next few months, causing you deep embarrassment. But know my tears are full of pride, memories, nostalgia, and excitement at what the future has in store for you.
I’m not sad. It’s the circle of life… this supposed to happen. I’m proud of you. I’m humbled by your resilience. I’m excited to see what comes next. And I’ll always be your momma with my heart dangling outside of my body with your name on it.
I LOVE YOU. THE BEST IS YET TO COME SWEET BOY.
Your Biggest Fan,