his first day of high school
after the last day (his dress shirt and tie already shed)
This is Isaac’s big high school graduation week. His last day was Friday. For the last three weeks he has been doing Senior Project which is a super smart thing invented by the Jesuits at his all-boy school that requires all the seniors to shadow professionals in a career they may be interested in. It’s not only super smart for the obvious reasons, it’s super smart because it takes all the crazy, hyper, “I’m done with school, let’s party” seniors out of the school for the month of May. They have to set this all up themselves, then keep a journal, write a paper and do a presentation on the entire experience before a panel of teachers. And then-DONE! I can’t even believe it.
Isaac followed an attorney at the county prosecutor’s office, an accountant, and a teacher. He had such good experiences at all of them. Eye-opening really. What I thought he’d like he didn’t at all, and what I thought would bore him to tears (accounting?) he loved the most. Just goes to show me that I’m glad I stayed the heck out of the whole dealeo and let him pick and choose.
He also procured a summer job. A bagger at the local grocery store. I couldn’t be more proud because he did this all himself…put in his application, called, called again, dropped off a resume, called again…basically did exactly what you have to do to get a job nowadays. On his first day he pocketed a few tips, and came home and asked me for some advice on bagging. I said, “It’s all about the bread. Watch the bread!” I thought it was nice he cared enough to ask.
People ask me if I’m emotional with him graduating. Yes and no. Of course I think of all the darn work it took to get this far. School never came easy to him and boy, he MADE it and did great! And worked really really hard to do so. So I am SO proud of him and when I think back on all those homework struggles, all the little disappoints after studying hard for a test and just doing “ok”, the times we were frustrated or worried endlessly about him, it makes me emotional. I finished his scrapbooks and gosh, he looks SO young all the way through-SO much younger than everyone else in all his classes from kindergarten to this senior year. And he kept up!. Because he had to. And that required a huge effort on his part.
He has been such a good, sweet, happy kid to raise. (I’m not done yet, I know!) He has always been so respectful to us, and just has taken his role as the oldest in this family to heart and set a wonderful example for his younger siblings.
I’ve always told Isaac, “You know you are our first, so we have NO idea what we are doing-you have just been a giant experiment for us.” But I make sure to thank him-because he has been forgiving, and kind, and so much fun, through the entire 18 years, and has rolled with the punches of our constantly changing and growing family. More than rolled with the punches, but never even had a moment of sibling jealousy-he was more excited about each new baby than ever. And this new one coming (my due date is two days before his college move-in date) is no different.
But part of me doesn’t want to be too emotional. First, there is the pregnancy thing. Emotional=scary. You know it does! For God’s sake, if I start bawling in public, it’s not going to be tearing up, it’s going to be an endless downright river and I do NOT want to do that. And the more important reason-it’s not the end! It’s just high school. Honestly, that’s the way I feel. It’s the beginning of something SO exciting for him-we have years to go, huge growing up years, and I can’t wait for him to experience this next phase of becoming an adult. Sure, I can work myself into nervousness and no doubt that hysterical river of tears will happen when we drop him off at college (me with either pregnancy hormones still raging or just-gave-birth hormones which maybe even by more frightening?), but it’s just one more new phase of growth for him, and a new phase of parenting for me. It’s called the letting go phase and you know what? It feels right. More right than I could have ever imagined. It feels like we will be OK. It feels like I’ve gotten him in the right place for that to begin to happen, and I’m so excited to watch the rest unfold.