Senior Year

Senior Samara Steinfeld

Wasn’t it just yesterday that we asked our babysitter why she was wearing a spork behind her ear? Now our daughter will be one of the many Mt. Lebanon seniors walking around town with this accessory. Where did the time go?

As I saw the Class of 2019 milestone posts last year, I could feel the walls of time closing in. Next year at this time, that’ll be us… Then came the college posts, with parents sharing their emotional good byes. If I’m feeling this way as a spectator, how will I cope?

My turn officially began this summer, when the district calendar arrived. As is my custom, I highlight any relevant events and then add them to my calendar. Senior Class Picture, Sept. 11; Senior Boat Ride, Sept. 13; Senior Reception, May 21; Prom, June 2; Cap and Gown Distribution, June 4-5; Commencement rehearsal, June 8; Commencement, June 9. AAHH! Time, SLOW DOWN!

It doesn’t help that I’m reminded constantly that this is our last year with her, because let’s face it, once she goes to college, she’ll only be home for short periods. Luckily, I’m not the kind of parent who will sabotage her college application essays when I’m asked to help edit them. Therein lies the paradox: As much as I don’t want her to go, I do. I know it’s time for her to spread her wings (and all that other cheesy stuff). This is our job as parents, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

Samara, left, with friend Veronica Edmonds, on the first day of first grade

A friend sent me a photo the other day of our two daughters as first-graders, missing front teeth and all. While out to eat, my husband looked at a nearby infant and remarked, “Remember when she was that age?” I do, and I don’t. Each stage has its difficulties and joys. Why should this be any different?

What I’m learning is to listen to my own advice: “Take it one day at a time.” Too often I look ahead when I need to live in the moment. The last thing I want is to be sitting in the bleachers at graduation (please, no rain!) feeling like I didn’t make the most of this year.

It helps knowing I’m not alone. It would be harder if this was a unique situation to which no one could relate. But with 400+ students in the Mt. Lebanon senior class, and millions around the world in the Class of 2020, we have a built-in support network.

At least we’ll have some amusement along the way, as we watch our kids participate in the venerated Lebo spork competition. And they’ll leave us a souvenir.

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