I am emotionally spent. I cry at the drop of a hat and that is just not like me.
This senior year stuff is hitting me pretty hard. It's been in the back of mind since school started in August. I've been able to keep my emotions at bay for the most part. But, on senior night when all his class stood together flanked by their parents and the announcer said, "I present to you the class of 2009", it hit me like a ton of bricks.
There will be several lasts over the next few months. Followed closely by some firsts.
I guess I've put off thinking about it as long as I can. There are things that have to be done now, college dues that have to be paid, open houses that have to be attended.
Tonight is Holden's last home basketball game. I tear up just thinking about it. He's played on that court for the last 6 years. I played on the same court when I was his age. When he steps off the court for the last time tonight I know I'll be a ball of tears.
My baby is growing up and there's nothing I can do about it.
I know he's ready. He's a good boy with a good head on his shoulders. But, I'm not ready for him to grow up just yet. I'd like to keep him at home for a few more years.
His graduation invitations arrived last week, his cap and gown a few weeks before that. He has picked out the college he will be attending and the enrollment has been paid. I have been researching apartments that he might be able to rent with a friend. (He is insistent that he does not want to live in a dorm with a stranger. Plus, living in an apartment is almost as cheap as a dorm.) The FASFA has been sent in. We've applied for several scholarships.
All this stuff adds up to one thing, preparing my boy to leave home. Like I said, he's ready, I'm not.
Last night while Holden and Michael were at practice I was flipping through the TV. I found an old 20/20 episode that looked pretty good. It was about a 16 year old girl who was pregnant and was giving her baby up for adoption. The episode showed her interviewing couples and trying to decide which one to give her baby to.
I cried the entire hour. I was trying to eat supper and would get straight long enough to chew and swallow only to start sobbing again.
I was 16 when I got pregnant with Holden, 17 when I had him. I am so blessed that I was able to keep him and raise him as my own. I am blessed that I had parents who helped support me so I could stay in school, get a college education, and raise my boy.
I kept looking at that 16 year old and crying. She didn't have a choice. She didn't have her parents support. She had no way to raise a baby on her own. But, she loved him before he was ever born, just I like I did with Holden. I can't imagine having to give him over to someone else.
I can't imagine how much different my life would have been had I not had Holden. I truly believe I would be a whole different person, and not a better person either. Having Holden has shaped me into the person I am today. I'm a little crazy at times, but I didn't turn out too badly.
I know the parent is supposed to shape the child, and I have in some ways. But, he's shaped me too. He taught me what true unconditional love is. He taught me how to put someone else first. He taught me to be tough no matter what. He made me fight for things that I never would have without him.
There was a time when he was my whole life, my whole reason for breathing. He gave me a purpose. He still does.
Seeing that 20/20 special last night made me realize something. Yes, he'll be leaving for college in a few months and yes, I will miss him terribly. But, I am so blessed to have had him in my life to begin with.
I will still cry tonight when he steps off that court, but through the tears I will smile.
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."