The End of an EraPosted: July 17, 2017 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Big Magic, Cheryl Strayed, Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert, Fiddler on the Roof, Hook Em Horns, Magic Lessons, New York Times bestseller, podcast, Project Repat, Sunrise Sunset, Texas A&M, University of Houston, University of Texas, Wild 9 Comments
Hey there, it’s been a while! Countless times in the last several months I’ve thought, “I really want to write something for my blog” and yet….Life gets in the way. Big time. But here I am, so let’s get to it.
It’s been busy around here, with my firstborn graduating from high school and preparing for college. Lots of changes in the last couple of months, and lots more to come. In April, my boy played his last baseball game. In May, he turned 18 and went to prom. In June, he graduated high school. In August he will leave for college.
I suppose I’m joining the ranks of parents around the world who wonder: wasn’t it just the other day that my kid started kindergarten? Wasn’t it just last week that my sweet little boy wore a paper tag around his neck with his name and bus number? At the risk of sounding like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, wasn’t it yesterday when he was small???
It goes without saying that I am proud of this kid. Although he received a scholarship to the University of Houston, he chose Texas A&M University (the hubs and I both try not to wince or whimper about the fact that our son will wear maroon instead of our beloved burnt orange).
Time is a funny thing: moving glacially slowly in some cases, yet zipping by at warp speed in other cases. I’d heard many times the sage advice to “savor every minute” of my firstborn’s senior year, and despite my best effort, those minutes slipped by and disappeared. We celebrated P’s senior-year milestones and I reminded myself to be present, to drink it all in rather than getting bogged down by the long list of things to do.
The Spring Sports Banquet was a bittersweet milestone: the pride in P’s winning the MVP Award was tinged with a wee bit of sadness that his baseball career was winding down.
Something tells me that once he leaves for college next month, I’ll be looking at this photo rather often. Baseball has been a huge part of our life. Season after season, we savored the wins and mourned the losses, and we watched this boy become a young man.
On the last home game each season, our school tradition is to honor the senior players in a post-game ceremony, in which the seniors and their families take the field and the announcer reads a letter from the parents to their son and then we present the boys with a keepsake bat. This year, P’s team was locked in a duel for a championship slot, and sadly the Knights fell short and lost the playoff bid (hence his long face after the Senior ceremony).
I’m really going to miss the sweet sound of a bat connecting with the ball. We have spent an awful lot of time in the stands cheering him on (and I spent an awful lot of time pacing the grounds during especially close games). This boy learned to hit a pitched ball at age two and never stopped swinging. Baseball was his first true love, and I suspect the game will always hold a special place in his heart.
We didn’t mourn the end of baseball too long, because shortly thereafter it was time for prom! What is it about boys in tuxedos and girls in evening gowns that is so captivating? As senior year winds down and prom night finally arrives, the juxtaposition becomes apparent: the excitement of what lies ahead, coupled with the memories of the last four years.
Right on the heels of prom was the graduation ceremony and party, a blur of activity and a house full of the people who mean the most to us. So much activity that we failed to take many photos (perhaps the sign of a truly good party — we had so much fun we didn’t even think about taking pictures!).
One of the highlights: this blanket made from his Little League shirts. I like the idea of him taking all those memories with him to college.
My boy was a week shy of turning 10 when I was diagnosed. Double digits for him, a double mastectomy for me. Eighteen years ago, with the birth of this kid, I went from a being a regular person to being a mother. Eighteen years seems like enough time to prepare for the end of an era. And yet, it’s just not. I’m a believer in the notion that kids leaving home means parents have done their job. However, as it is with many things, it’s easy to be a believer before that notion becomes a reality. The tricky part is remaining a believer as one faces the end of an era.
Swiftly fly the years.
Awwww love this and love the photos. my step son starts senior year in HS this year – hey are you on Facebook? You might like https://www.facebook.com/groups/1506637529662997/ – I am in it
Thanks, Carla. Enjoy your stepson’s last year — it goes by fast! I don’t get on FB much anymore these days but I’ll check out the group. Thanks!
So glad you are writing your blog againYou really connect with people who are going through the same situations or have been there. I had a few memories of my kids going off to college while reading your words. See you soon . Love Bettyanne💕👍
We will have to reminisce about those memories while sipping bubbly on the beach! I’m soooo ready!
I check your blog each week, hoping to see you blogging again. Soo good to read this and to see what a handsome and accomplished boy you’ve raised.
Marie! That is so nice of you. Had I known you were checking, I would have written more often! Thank you, sweet friend, for your love and loyalty. xo
[…] this week, a big warm welcome back to the blogosphere to the Pink Underbelly with a post reflecting on her son all […]
I think I have something in my eye…
This is so sweet, and so touching, and so filled with love and gorgeous photos (like that Little League jersey quilt!) Well done!
The day our grown-up babies leave home for college is a profoundly important milestone – yes, even when they choose to head off in direction we didn’t pick! (I love your cranky-mommy face wearing your Texas A&M visitor tag, by the way). You have indeed done your job! But that job’s never really over. I now have a new job as grandmother (“Baba”, in our family) to my darling first grandbaby (although wasn’t it just yesterday that I was bringing her mother home from the hospital in 1980?)
Carolyn, thank you for such a lovely comment. You are so kind! I’m so thrilled to hear about your new role as Baba; congratulations on your first grandbaby. That’s a milestone, as well!