I had a senior moment this morning. Not the kind where you forget something—although I do have plenty of those these days. I’m talking about the kind you have when your last kid is a senior in high school.
It happened when I received an email from the school district with next year’s calendar. I almost read it when I realized, “Hey, what the heck do I care how long Christmas break is—I’m done here.” And last week when we got a call about a delayed opening I thought, “Wow, I won’t be getting too many more of these.” In fact I should check to make sure I’m off their phone list because if I get a call next year at 5:45 am telling me there’s no school I will be REALLY cranky.”
And in a few months when they start sending out the email for next year’s school directory, for the first time in two decades I won’t have to check to see if our information is correct—any Fischers listed will not be related to me. When it’s time to buy school supplies for next year I won’t be ordering a box from Supplies to Please. My child will take himself to his college’s bookstore or order what he needs from Amazon—back to school shopping is now officially a thing of the past.
What else you ask (and even if you didn’t I am going to tell you anyway)? NO MORE PORTAL! Not that I ever check it to be honest, but I won’t have any guilt about not checking it. My child will soon be 18 and his grades will be his problem not mine. If he’s old enough to register for the draft and carry a gun he’s definitely old enough to worry about his own grades. Just saying. (I have to add that there were times when I saw his grades and it was a good thing I don’t carry a gun.)
And while I’m mentioning senior moments, how about not having to think about emails from the school nurse regarding my son’s vaccinations and wondering if he still needs to get a booster shot for measles before they let him move up a grade. No more terrifying moments when he pulls out a sheet that mentions that the plague or lice are rampant among his classmates.
No more signing permission slips that allow the school to take my child someplace where they might need to rush him to the emergency room. Do you know how many times I’ve seen that form that asks if my kid uses an inhaler or has any known allergies?
No more remembering to pick out clothes and sending a check for pictures. The years we didn’t need a retake (even if the pictures were just mediocre) I felt victorious.
In the future, when my husband and I are thinking about taking a vacation we don’t have to be concerned about school vacations—we can just go. No more travelling when everyone else is or worrying that we are screwing up our child’s entire future if we let him miss classes for a day or two.
A lot is going to be different around here—it’s already started with “senior moments” coming more and more frequently. Yeah, we are on our way out of the school system and all it entails. It’s going to be weird for sure. I know that by this time next year I will barely remember how the whole K-12 thing works but for a little while there will be some adjusting to do.
One thing that will never change? How much I love my sons and the fact that I will always be there for them whenever they need me.
Marlene Kern Fischer is a wife, mother of three sons, food shopper extraordinaire, blogger and college essay editor. She attended Brandeis University, from which she graduated cum laude with a degree in English Literature. A Founding Contributor and Advisor at CollegiateParent, her work has also been featured on Huffington Post, Her View From Home, Parent Co., Kveller, Grown and Flown, MockMom, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop and Better After 50. You can read more of Marlene’s work on her site, Thoughts From Aisle Four or on Facebook.