It's March, and I am watching the end of the school year hurdling at me at the speed of light.
Normally, this wouldn't affect me quite , but the end of the 2007-08 school year has special meaning to me.
It is the last year before my last child enters high school.
The age range of my kids is 13 years from top to bottom. The spacing was such that I spent 19 uninterrupted years with at least one child in elementary school.
Having that kind of scary "streak" come to an end in 2006 was a bit of a trauma, but honestly, I was a little glad to get out of the grade-school mindset and move on. It was a long haul, after all.
High school? The land of teens and driving and college applications and SATs and the four-year college-prep course-selection plan?
For the little girl who cried at every birthday party she ever had until she was 7?
For the one who stamped her feet in outrage while her older brothers tormented her?
For the one I tucked into bed every night with this: "I love you from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the sky and all the way around the world ..."?
Oh, it is to cry.
Monday night, we went to the incoming freshman orientation program at the local high school. We listened to the fairly boring litany of "what to expect for and from your ninth grader."
I'd heard it before. Please remember I have shepherded three sons and a stepdaughter through high school. But I was unprepared for how hard it was to see my little girl sitting in the bleachers, listening to talk about what classes to take as a high school freshman.
To know that on April 1, she starts clinics and ultimately tryouts for the cheer squad.
To see her face light up as the cheer coach invited her to work out with the team now, instead of waiting till after tryouts.
To know that she now walks a path to her future from which there is no turning back.
Lord help me. The kid we call the last of the Mohicans is going to HIGH SCHOOL.