"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."
Senior 2013. I've seen that phrase many, many times over the past couple of months and every time it catches my breath. I feel like it reaches up off the page and grabs my heart with an unforgiving grip. My baby...my sweet little girl is graduating in 8 short months. I've been told to "hang on tight" because the senior year is wild and crazy. So far, it is certainly living up to its reputation. As though the reality of the first week of her senior year was not enough, we had to go ahead and order her cap and gown...the very first days of school. I breathe in with a slight twinge of anxiety on that one.
Tomorrow, I will be forced to dive even further into the reality of how little time I have with her. For tomorrow, we take senior pictures. I want so much to enjoy these times with her. How does a mother separate her sorrow from her joy? I look forward to seeing her have fun posing for my good friend Donna Evans. Donna is so good and will have her laughing in no time. Tori has such a great sense of style and knows exactly what she wants. Helping her choose her outfits has been fun. (Except for last night when she started having last minute wardrobe anxiety.) But honestly, she would make a potato sack look good! (I suppose I'm a little bias.) I just know the pictures are going to be wonderful. As I stand to the side and watch my daughter blossom in front of the camera, I'm sure reflections of the past and dreams of the future will be running through my mind.
She has a promising future ahead of her. She has set her eyes on a college that we are very happy about. (Now we're believing God will provide a way.) She has a great head on her shoulders, as they say. She is a
girl young woman that lives her life for the Lord. She is a growing leader. She loves with her whole heart and is loyal to the end. She is everything we could ever dream of...and we can take very little credit for it all. We stand in wonder at who she has become. The future for her is truly exciting. I can only imagine how she is going to change the world around her. She's special. No really, she. is. special. I can't help but believe that the Lord has a big plan for her life. I know. I'm her momma. Of course I think those things. But if you know her, you believe it too.
Fear. That is what Rich and I battle. Fear that she will meet a boy, fall in love and then move far away. (Far = anything further than our backyard) Fear that she will get herself into a situation and not know what to do. Fear that she will carry on with her life and forget about us. Fear that we won't play an intimate part of her life anymore. Fear that she will go to Wal-Mart without us, in the middle of the night. Fear for the first time she is sick and I can't get to her to help take care of her. (Thank God for our close friends the Kennedys that will take really good care of her.) You want them to grow and become rock-awesome adults, but a part of you wants to hang on...forever. But that's not healthy and we know it.
Trust. That has to be the new word of the day. Trust that the Lord will condition our hearts and minds as He takes her hand and walks her through life. He's always been in control...we just forget it sometimes. Trust that we have raised her to make wise decisions. Trust that she will be safe. Trust that she will call home. Trust that she will want to come home for weekend visits. Trust that she will continue to be upfront and honest with us. Trust that she will continue to open up to us and have those deep, intimate conversations with us. Trust that our relationship is going to strengthen, not weaken.
I know these things can be done. I've seen mother after mother do it. I've seen some do it better than others. I want to be one that does it well. I need His wisdom and comfort as we travel into new waters with our "Senior 2013".
Lord God, may they be a graduating class that turns the world upside down for You. May Your glory and anointing be peculiarly strong upon them. May their hearts be made of good soil. May Your Word forever be rooted deep into their hearts. Protect them all Lord. Us mommas and daddies are scared spitless. Comfort us so that we do not all try to move into the dorm room across the hallway from them. Thank you Father that You knew this day would come and nothing in the future will be a surprise to You. Hold her hand and guide her with one hand, and hold ours in the other. We all need everything You've got as we transition into a new way of life. May we learn to look forward to upcoming celebrations. May the remaining days at home be filled with love and laughter. Amen.