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  • Writer's pictureBountiful Bridge

So (long) High School

Sorry to disappoint, but this essay has nothing to do with the sexy ideation of having high school love with a significant other.

Yet, if you are a parent that either has a recent high school graduate or, like me, will soon have a high school senior, we are feeling so much emotion right now.

I literally woke up yesterday morning crying from a vivid dream about my oldest daughter leaving the nest.

We all say it, and we all think it. The time that we have with our children is fleeting.

Yes, in the earlier stages of their life, our lives were upended with the days unfolding in the endless, repetitive motion of feedings, diaper changes, and nap times. Once school age begins, we live our lives by a nine-month calendar filled with homework, practices, conferences, performances, award ceremonies, and the last day of school festivities.

Each year flies by quicker than the last, and before we know it, Senior year arrives. Our kids wish for this year to arrive, and we wish for time to go a little slower. A gentle push and pull of childhood versus parenting.

Childhood allows us to wish for time to pass quicker, while parenthood has us on our knees praying for time to slow down. So, it’s a push for freedom from childhood and a pull for the parents to have just a few more fleeting days with their children.

Yet, we raise them up to let them go, and so we prepare to let them go. What no one really mentions is the multitude of emotions that flow through us, building up to this moment.

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was walking her to the bus for the first time? Now, we are walking through college campuses, trying to figure out where she will spend the next several years of her life, preparing her for the world of adulthood.

I am fully prepared for the tears of emotion to pulse through me over the next year. I am not prepared to let her fully go. Won’t she always be my baby? The one that I told, “We will figure this out together.”?

I suppose I didn’t think that eighteen years would go by in the blink of an eye, let alone the four short years of high school. We were just getting the routine down of early morning alarms and late-night study sessions. Homecoming, play rehearsals, art shows, and Prom. Then…it’s over.

Don’t get me wrong. High school is “so very high school,” with some challenges and drama best left in the dust of the year that was. Yet I suppose that I just forgot that high school does end. It is finite. It is the launching pad for the rest of their lives to begin. And for our lives to, once again, adjust.

We will get through it with a lot of tears and tissues, many more sleepless nights, and a never-ending world of love for the kiddos that made us parents.

Our world will once again be upended with a new version of life.

If we are honest, there were moments where we thought, “What do we do?” when the baby was crying, not sleeping, or on their 50 zillionth request for Blues Clues. We made it through with love, patience, dedication, and an unseeing faith that it wouldn’t last forever.

And it didn’t. This stage won’t last forever, either. So, I will embrace it and walk over this bridge very slowly, savoring the last moments of their childhood while simultaneously pushing her forward to live her best life.

It’s a bridge worth crossing.

Till next time,



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