my boyI have a theory. I believe parents can “catch” senioritis from their kids. I believe it- because I think I have it. If senioritis is a disease that makes you nearly sick with mixed emotions during your seniors year;)

It’s true that there is a salsa of mixed feelings peppering our home. Excitement about summer on the horizon. Happiness over my kids’ accomplishments…. (whew- we made it to graduation;) a few nerves over what the future (which I cannot control- nor choose for my kids) holds. And a bit of sadness- for the little boy who is no more- he has been replaced by a man. (a rather delightfully stubborn, opinionated one- I may add;)

Don’t get me wrong- there are moments when the little boy peeks out at us- from under his bristley chin and glasses. He pops out via a grin and a pushing up of the glasses (exactly as he has done it since he was 3 and first got them:) or a quizzical look or zinger statement… brief, beloved visits. Brief, because, in general- my boy is no longer a boy.

I’m not sure when it happened, this becoming a man. It seems to have snuck up on both of us. (He seems to forget- too- sometimes.) We’ve been in denial for a while– but this “end of senior year” activity… is not exactly conducive to denial. A couple of weeks ago, he picked up his yearbook. He was listed in the senior section. Ouch. Today, he picks up his cap and gown. (His first dress, I may add. Yes, I’ve been hasseling him…) I’m fairly certain, that I’ll have a mix of happy and sad tears to use as steam, as I iron out it’s fed-ex packaged, wrinkles.

Last week, we managed to bribe and threaten him into taking senior pictures. (He had refused them until then.) My denial looking glass was shattered during the photo-session. First mistake? I went and picked out a “dress outfit” for him to wear. Red oversized polo, (a designer.. so NOT his thing) black dress pants (again- not him) and black dress shoes. He cooperated under duress with everything but the dress shoes. “NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.” He said ( And yes- it was in all caps- trust me.) I knew he meant it. ( Hubby returned black shoes of lameness, the same afternoon.)

My second mistake- was playing “stage mom” and suggesting shots to the photographer. ANNOYING. I am it. If looks could kill… the kid would be cashing in my life insurance right now. He was a (fairly) good sport- although he looked miserable in every single red-polo shirt pic.

Fortunately- I also brought his fishing pole, camo t and a camo- ballcap. Suddenly- he changed from moody, “my mom made me wear this” child, to confident, comfortable in his own skin, young man- right before my eyes. My eyes welled up at the sound of denial shattering.

He’s not a kid. He needs guidance- but not bossiness. He wants respect, and, he gives it. I am so proud of who he is- and who he is becoming. That man peeks out from time to time just like the boy inside him does too. That man, is sure of his beliefs, challenges and questions, admits when he’s wrong (sometimes) apologizes for wrongs… and trusts God with his future.

Today- he maybe a bit confused, a bit afraid and wonderfully confident, all at the same time. He has senioritis— but it isn’t terminal. Good thing- cause Mom (and yes- Dad) have it too.

Knitting, slow food eating and house preps for the grad party are all underway… stay tuned- it’s definitely hopping around here;)

PS- Son, I love you.

PPS— other sons— I love you too;)

“Dear Lord- I ask you to be with my boys and help them to become all that you have planned for them. Give me wisdom and courage to know when to hold on and when to let go. I love you Lord- and know you love them too…keep them in your care- amen”