Today is the last day of High School for my son.
The last day I shuffled to his room holding breakfast in one hand and flicking his light on with the other.
The last day I turned off his fan, turned off his alarm clock and called his name.
“Nic … wake up.”
I don’t know what I was expecting. I feel everything like I’m reading either a hilarious or very touching Hallmark card when it comes to my son.
I left him as I normally do – blinking and squinting at the light. Propping himself up on his elbow and less than enthusiastically working the spoon.
Then I make coffee – and peer in to his room from the kitchen to be sure he didn’t lay back down and close his eyes.
Like most parents, I’ve taken a photo of Nic on each ‘First Day of School’ through the years. This morning was bittersweet as I coerced him into some ‘Last Day of School’ photos.
I wanted the half hour that we sit together, watching the news in the living room, to last forever.
The clock wasn’t magically participating in my desire to prolong the moment – time was not slowing. Pffft.
He grabbed his items – I followed him out to the porch. Watched as he unlocked the car, opened the door. I recorded his exit – like the annoying photog I can be.
Then he drove away.
Just like that.
I sat with my coffee thinking back. What else will I never do again?
I’ll never argue with him about calling in sick. I’ll never write another excuse note or permission slip. I’ll never attend another open house – or meet his teachers. (Unless I bump into a college professor, hopefully!)
I’ll never shop for uniform tops again or have to dig for lunch money on Monday mornings. Never again hear his principal on Sundays announcing the upcoming week’s school events. No more school pictures, tripping over his backpack, registering for a new year, nagging him about homework or listening to him share his day …
I tried to find a silver lining – and the only thing I could think of is: I won’t have to set my alarm for 6 am anymore.
Who knows what’s next. Hopefully I’ll have raised enough money for him to go to the UK in July – then … it’s his call.
I remember being SO excited when school was ending – then having a sobering moment of ‘Oh … wait. This is REAL.’
I don’t know if he’s had that thought yet.
But when he does, I’ll be here for him. And I’ll support him in whatever step he wants to take.