Parenting, Thing 1, Thing 2

Class of 2013

I was Class of ’93. Did you know that? Hard to believe that the year of my 20-year reunion – if we were to have one – is the year my oldest child will graduate from high school.

His first day of school was yesterday and it took everything out of me not to cry my eyes out. As long as I didn’t think about it, I was fine. But the second I thought, “OH MY GOD. He’s a SENIOR…” I could feel the tears forming. This is also the first year I haven’t driven him to school every day, as he now has a car. (199 Corolla, 200K+ miles on it. He’s quite proud.) It’s very weird not to be driving him every day. I miss that short trip already. It was just the two of us for 15 minutes or so and it was nice. As the Mom of a teenager, you enjoy every second you get. I’m sad I no longer get those seconds.

I can’t believe he’s a Senior. There are days when I think of course he is because it feels like it’s been plenty long enough. I have more years of memories as his Mom than I have as not being his Mom…so it feels time for him to become an adult and start his adult life.

But then – other days – it feels like there is no way he’s older than nine. There’s no way he’s months away from turning his last year in high school. Wasn’t he just collecting Pokemon cards yesterday? Weren’t we just standing in line for Harry Potter books a few months ago? Didn’t he just start middle school? How is he graduating from high school already?

And as a blogger…I know you guys are just as shocked. I mean, I remember when Dooce taped an eviction notice on her pregnant belly before Leta was born. I remember Amalah before there was a Noah, Ezra, or Ike. I remember Yvonne sending her oldest off to high school and sobbing because I’d be doing the same soon…and now he’s a marine. I’ve seen the blogs I read – their kids grow and I think, “How have I been reading about your life for THAT long?”

The same way I’ve been writing about mine, I guess.

And then, I know a lot of you mention reading here when I got pregnant with Nikki. Look at how much she’s changed in just a year:

(Sidenote: I did not buy her a new backpack or lunchbox. This was a huge point of contention. I told her she could ask for new ones for her birthday or Christmas but she didn’t get one JUST BECAUSE it was a new year. Her old ones were perfectly fine. Where am I on the 1-10 scale of mean and crotchety?)

Before I know it…I’ll be writing an entry titled: “Class of 2023”.

I’ve been thinking a lot about time and ages of children lately. Did you know I didn’t have any kids in my 20s? Sometimes I notice that because I’m a bit younger than some of my friends with kids E’s age but I’m a bit older than some of my friends with kids Wes’s age. Most people have their kids in their 20s, I skipped mine completely.

(Not for lack of trying, of course.)

While I’m feeling a bit somber, I’m also so incredibly blessed. E is amazing in every way. He wrote a book this summer and is actually actively trying to find a literary agent for it. At age 17 he’s done something I’ve had on my To Do list for 30 years. He’s basically already achieved one of my life goals. He knows how to cook, he cares for his siblings, he’s just so much more prepared for adulthood than I ever was.

So I smile about it all. The passage of time…the changing of grades, of schools, of lives. Because – given a few slight changes in any direction – I’d be in an entirely different place right now. And none of those places would be as right as this one. So I’ll welcome this year and all of the milestones it holds…and just be so very grateful for everything good in my life.

Now…pass me the Kleenex. I’m going to need them.

20 thoughts on “Class of 2013”

  1. I’m a relatively new reader (maybe a year or so?) and in even that short time I’ve seen what a great kid E is. He’s obviously got a good head on his shoulders, he’s a wonderful big brother (better than probably any other teenage boy ever), and he’s FUNNY (I feel like a creepy old lady favoriting at least one tweet a day from him, but I can’t help it!).

    You are obviously bursting with pride for him, but you ought to be just as proud of yourself. He wouldn’t be the amazing person he is without you.

    These E posts are some of my favorites on your blog, and I’m hoping that when he goes off to college next year he keeps you in the loop enough that we can still get the occasional update on how he’s doing!

  2. Wow, I do feel like I’ve watched E grow up here. I’ve been a reader since the pre- Nikki days, and I just did a double take when I realized just how many ears I have been reading! There are so few of the original bloggers left, the ones who really started this pheom…so many of them ended up divorced it seems. Others just quit their blogs because it did complicate their lives. I miss RockStar Mommy and Tesco something fierce!

    My son is junior this year and many of his friends are seniors and its sad for me to see them doing thier last “firsts”- last first day of XC practice, last first day of school…I can’t imagine what a basket case I will be next year!

    Your title reminded me of the Green Day song 21st Century Breakdown, because (And maybe I analyze the lyrics a bit too much) I think it does describe this generation coming up- we are the generation that screwed up this country, they are the ones that are going got save it..they have so much going for them, they survived and are strong ,smarter, more prepared

    “We are the cries of the class of ’13
    Born in the era of humility
    We are the desperate in the decline
    Raised by the bastards of 1969

    My name is no one
    The long lost son
    Born on the 4th of July
    Raised in the era of heroes and cons
    That left me for dead or alive

    I am a nation
    A worker of pride
    My debt to the status quo

    The scars on my hands
    And the means to an ends
    Is all the that I have to show

    I swallowed my pride
    And I choked on my faith
    I’ve given my heart and my soul
    I’ve broken my fingers
    And lied through my teeth
    The pillar of damage control

    I’ve been to the edge
    And I’ve thrown the bouquet
    Of flowers left over the grave
    I sat in the waiting room
    Wasting my time
    And waiting for judgement day

    I praise liberty
    The “freedom to obey”
    Is the song that strangles me
    Don’t cross the line

    Dream, America dream
    I can’t even sleep
    From the light’s early dawn

    Scream, America scream
    Believe what you see
    From heroes and cons

  3. My daughter is also a senior, will be 18 in January and it is also the first year I haven’t driven her to school every day. My heart is filled to bursting with pride for my girl, but also sad at this rite of passage, The time goes so fast.

  4. Just yesterday I was thinking that E was starting his senior year. The things I think about… about people I’ve never met, but feel like I know. Because I’ve watched him grow up from afar. Wait, does that make me sound creepy? A reminder of why I love this world we live in. Hope he, and all of you, have a great year.
    And I, too, did not buy new gear for my 1st grader. I don’t know if I would have caved if he’d asked, but I felt like there was no reason to buy new stuff, especially since I made a point to buy quality stuff last year.

  5. Awww… this will be me in 2 years. ๐Ÿ™ I remember when “lil Z” (as he was known back then) was entering high school! And that was scary! Thanks for sharing your family, it’s nice.

  6. I’ve been reading since “Lil Z” was a little only child, before you guys even bought your first house. I remember at the time your blog freaked my out because you were my age (go class of 93!) and yet you were raising this kid and you seemed like you had your life so TOGETHER. I felt so clueless and immature by comparison! It’s been neat watching you guys grow up as a family, just as I am going through a lot of the same milestones. My oldest (my little fashionista) starts 1st grade tomorrow, and my youngest continues to be a 3.75 year old monster (but cuddle bug).

    It is a little weird to see E entering his senior year, but mostly it is just cool. I think I got over the weirdness when I started following him on twitter, lol. What’s funnier is that I didn’t realize until reading this post that I’m nearly 20 years out of high school myself. Holy crap. It’s one thing to watch a kid grow older. It’s another to realize it’s happening to you, too!

  7. It IS funny about watching people’s kids grow up. I was talking about this with a friend the other day…I have all these “friends” all over the place I have never met and I feel so close with them. I have actually mourned when certain people (ie, RockstarMommy) stopped blogging. I have been reading you for years and it has been oh so nice to celebrate alongside you as you got pregnant with Nikki. (and yes it is CRAZY how fast your kids are growing up!)

  8. Not to negate the gravity of your post because HUGE!!! OHMAGAWSHHUGE! I have to comment on the backpack thing though! I did not buy my son a new backpack either. I thought about it. We did from K to 1st grade mainly because we bought him a Spider-man backpack and a Cars lunchbag during his pre-K year. Neither of which he was particularly into any more by 1st grade and both were BEAT UP after two summers of camp and school. Last year I bought him a Pottery Barn soccer matching backpack and lunchbox. They SUCK. Do not buy anything like that from PB. SO that was the only reason I thought about buying him new stuff but than I was like ‘NO he will think every year he’s going to get new ones’ and I decided not to go down that road. There are a few kids in his class including his best buddy who gets a new matching PB set with the lettering on it in the large size each year since Kindergarten. Seems a little much, no? Or did I miss the memo about getting new fancy backpacks every year. Is that the “in” thing to do? Or is that way uncool and crotchety of me!?

  9. YES. We know a lot of people who get new ones every year AND they’re monogrammed. (Is that the right term?) What do you DO with those? You can’t hand them down or give them to goodwill, do you just end up with 12 backpacks with their name on them when they graduate from high school?

    Because I have been on a HUGE de-clutter kick in the last year. I don’t like keeping stuff around if it’s not cherished or used. Getting a new backpack every year, especially if you have more than one kid, would create TONS of clutter, right? Unless you just give them to Goodwill every year. I guess. But then, I don’t see the point? I don’t know. This is totally my Dad coming out in me. We’d spend $50 on pens but god forbid we get a new backpack ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. OH! And for the record – I think E has been using the backpack he has for at least 3 years now. It’s a Northface and it has totally stood up to the High School books being thrown around every year. I’ve been totally impressed.

  11. I don’t buy new pack packs unless the previous one is unusable. A new one every year seems like a waste.

    I have enjoyed watching your kids grow up – from afar. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. thanks, girl…here i am crying at my desk since reading this. our last “first day of school” is in two weeks, and i AM NOT READY!!!

  13. My oldest just started HS this year, so forgiive me for ignoring the suggestion that the end is just around the corner.

    On the backpacks though- mine got to choose one to use in K and first grade. After that, we went with Lands’ End because of their ‘Guaranteed Period’ thing. I told them to choose one they were gonna like for a while! The oldest two have each lasted 6 years before the zippers started acting hinky – LE replaced both, and sent a gift card when the replacement choice was less than the original bag. I think LL Bean does the same. It’s been a great investment!

  14. Wow! Love this post! My oldest just started her Senior year too. I can’t even wrap my head around it. And funny, I have 5 kids and not one was born during my 20’s either.
    And I am totally with you on the backpack thing! Those suckers are expensive!

  15. Your kids are amazing, because you are, and it has been really, really cool to watch them (and you, too!) grow.

  16. I am one of those readers that started reading here when you were pregnant with Nikki. It’s been so fun to watch her grow up. It doesn’t feel like it’s been seven years. Has it really been seven years?

  17. Hugs! And I was reading you right after you had your daughter, I think. I have been very emotional about my daughter starting college Monday, and not including the fact that she has a new very devoted boyfriend and their sudden strong relationship is blowing my mind, and then my oldest boy (21) is in his permanent workshop (disabilities center) and also moved into his own home with aides SUNDAY!

    I got ten years on you – graduated in 83. And I have a 10 year old too which makes me a very old mom! LOL

  18. I used the same green Jansport backpack all through middle and high school. Those things hold UP. Somewhere around junior year I started carrying a messenger bag instead of a backpack, because messenger bags were A Thing and I’d lost the Jansport at the stable over the summer. But if messenger bags hadn’t been such a trend, I’d have gotten another Jansport and would probably still have it 12 years later. Every time I see a Jansport display I get the urge to buy one just because they’re such a great, convenient thing to have.

  19. I was actually going to also say I used the same burgundy and tan backpack (Jansport I think it was) through all of my HS years and I might have even had that one in grade eight too!? Monogramming, yes that is it and I agree would you keep all that stuff for 12 years? Than what? Pass it on when you child gets married? Remember grade one and your huge Batman backpack? You were SOOO cute. I am sure the kid’s wife would be thrilled to have 12 slightly used monogrammed backpacks for what? Future use? Value added clutter? I suppoes you could give them away to Goodwill. FInd another needy child with your child’s name? I suppose you could take the threads out and re-use them for the next kid.

    Like you, I am always on a mission to de-clutter and we have plenty of stuff to clutter our world I am not adding MONOGRAMMED BACKPACKS AND LUNCH BAGS to it! Though on related note, my son almost cried when I finally bought him the matching lunch bag but without his name on it! He said “BUT Liam (not his friend’s real name) has his name on his…” I died a little inside because the cost of the bag plus s/h was way more than I wanted to spend but he so wanted the matching bag to be like little Liam. Thank goodness they do not have class together as I saw little Liam sporting a brand new PB baseball bag and matching lunchbag fully monogrammed…

  20. 20 years next year, Kim. Will you go? If we meet for drinks beforehand this time, please let me only have one : ) Got into too much trouble last time.

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