Last fall, when the Princess began her senior year of high school and we took “first day of school pictures” for the last time, I did not cry.
When we walked across the field with the other cheerleaders and football players at the senior night game, I did not cry.
When we walked across the mat with the other cheerleaders and wrestlers at the senior night meet, I did not cry.
When I finally got around to putting all the important school events on the 2016 calendar – days off, concerts, prom – I did not cry.
I didn't bother to write in graduation because The Little Prince is only a freshman and The Princess is only a . . . a senior. A senior? A senior!
A senior who will be graduating from high school in May.
May 29. I went back and added it to my calendar, but I did not cry.
I was still in denial.
It's not like I didn't know she was graduating. For two years now she's been making post-graduation plans that range from moving to Australia to never moving out of our house. That seemed reasonable, since there are days I wish she would move to Australia and days I want to snuggle with her on the couch and never let her out of my sight.
The constant contact from prospective colleges has also made it difficult to ignore her impending graduation. Sorting through all those letters, emails and phone calls to pick just the right school has been tough, as we have different selection criteria. She's looking for a school that is close enough to home so that I can do her laundry consistently, but far enough away that I can't nag her constantly. I'm looking for a school that is far enough away so that she has to do her own laundry regularly, but close enough that I can supply the detergent routinely.
I want her to spread her wings and test her independence, but I want to be there to cheer her on.
I have done a poor job of documenting the first 110 days of her senior year, but I vow to make up for that with the last 65 days. I'm starting with a costumed photo shoot for her final President's Day in high school.
The Little Prince has (successfully) turned my distraction to his advantage. Last night when I told him to clean his room, he reminded me “The Princess only has 280 days to clean her room before she moves out.”
The joke is on him. There are 600 school days until his graduation.
That's plenty of time for me to cry.