Well, last night was the beginning of the end. The beginning of those final events of the high school season of my oldest son’s life. With the homecoming parade and ringing of the bell ceremony, I got a harsh dose of reality. While in the back of my mind I knew my “little boy” wasn’t my little boy anymore, I came face to face with how real it now is. My son, my precious boy is a young man stepping into the last year of what would be considered his childhood and each “last” moment has a more special and filled with more precious meaning than ever before.
If you know my son, then you know that he isn’t one to get in front of crowds and do anything, unless he is performing with the band. The last I knew, he wasn’t going to speak at the ringing of the bell ceremony. Not his cup of tea, to coin the cliche’. Then, out of nowhere, he stood before his fellow classmates, band mates, students, parents and teachers and spoke of how the class was a family and it needed to stay that way. Had I known, I would have gotten video instead of still shots, which were hard to get as it was, because this senior mom was trying very hard not to cry. To see him step out of himself and his comfort zone and take a moment that will never come again, and be part of something so special. I am beyond proud of him. Words can not even begin to express what my heart is feeling.
It was also the last high school homecoming parade that he will march in. And to see him own it, the street, his performance, his marching. He has so much talent it is just scary. Tonight, he will attend his final high school homecoming game and march on the field for the first game of the season. He told his dad and I that we needed to be at the band room before the band marches to the field because he would be giving a speech (and I am assuming the other seniors will as well) to the band. Again, this non-speech making boy trying to be inspiring to his band mates as this will be the last homecoming he shares with them.
I am just a jumble of emotion right now and I know it’s not going to get easier. But I will say this, I do not plan to miss a single moment of his senior year. I plan to be there with camera and tissue in hand archiving every ounce of it. I am so proud of the man he is becoming and while I look forward to him stepping into the next phase of his life and can’t wait to share it with him, my heart is grieving for the loss of the little boy that was. For the awkward teenager trying to figure it all out. But as hard as it is, it is rewarding as well, to look at this young man and being able to say, “He’s mine. He belongs to me. My joy, my sunshine, and as his name means, my gift of God.”