No More School Portraits

So with this being our senior firsts, and student lasts year.  We had to schedule R for his senior portrait for the yearbook. With only the senior man-child reminding me to make the appointment I was not annoyed,  was never stressed.  Oh sure it makes me very sad, and for the record I did cry, but then those of you who know me, know that I cry at every emotional thing, so it should be no surprise that these are his final yearbook pictures and I cried.

The same photographer who took C’s pictures, took O’s pictures and now R’s pictures.  The office location has changed 3 times, if that stays consistent than they have 4 locations to go to before we are done.  While I knew exactly where the other locations were, this one was in a former abandoned building and it took a wrong turn, around the wrong block, in an-up and coming neighborhood and back to where I started from.  After a U-turn we had arrived.

The photographer gave R the white shirt and coat, both were too short for him but since this is not our first photo-rodeo we were not concerned.  This picture makes me smile every time I see it, not sure if it is his bare legs or bare wrists, but it just makes me smile!
After getting a dozen shots in about 5 minutes we went upstairs to view his pictures.She made quick work in helping R with choosing the poses and the final picture for the yearbook.  As with the older kids, I let the senior pick their picture for the yearbook.  I sat and watched his man-child face flash on the screen I flashed back to his portraits from over the years,  the gummy baby smile, the gap tooth grin, the awkward middle school picture, the more confident in himself high school pictures, and now we are picking out senior pictures.  How did this happen?

He made an excellent choice in his picture, but as he says, “it is not like I was choosing a college”  Oh mercy!  (BTW my flash really made all the white things bright!  it is not actually this bright for real)

Interesting enough the day of his pictures FB did a memory share and it was #1’s senior picture day.  Facebook memories can really catch you unaware.
How can that be 4 years ago already?  Which is why I say time moves so fast.  So go hug your babies and tell someone you love them!
jen

Another (almost last) Porch Picture

I don’t know where to start,  I have written this post in my head for over 2 weeks now, but I realize that if I keep putting it off, time still moves on, I can’t stop it, even if I avoid the post commemorating it.

His last first day of school.  His almost last porch picture.
(that comes next fall when he leaves for the University of his choice)

Another senior,  another last first day of school porch picture, another last first day of school.


I swear I just took this picture his first day of Kindergarten, his first day was delayed because his building was not yet completed, I was thrilled with a few more days of time with him.  He was not so thrilled.

When he was a newborn all pink and scrawny in my arms, I did not think his senior year would come so fast.  Oh sure the little old ladies at church would come and pat my arm and say “time goes fast mama, time goes fast.”  I did not believe them, I was tired from lack of sleep, I had 3 kids 4 and under, I was wearing dirty clothes, smelled like stinky diapers, and had a stack of laundry on the sofa, I needed to bathe at least 1 if not 2 of those kids, as I wondered how many times you could serve mac n cheese before it was abuse.  In fact time was not moving fast.  It was holding still, like the movie Groundhog Day, only way less funny and without snow or a big party.  Then just as suddenly it was racing along I could not stop it.  Every day, even over the last few summers time raced me and time always won.  It wins every single day.

The moments are so long, the science fairs, (More than one by choice.  His choice) and cross country meets, (Only one year.  My choice) the homework, and field trips.  But the years are short, he just started kindergarten, now he is starting his senior year.  He was just singing his little heart out in elementary programs, he was just playing at recess, he is now filling out college applications, applying for scholarships, and going to hang out with his friends.  I don’t know when it happened.

I can’t believe this is his last year home.  And the very sad thing is, I know the change, I know how our family will be different without him.  I know how very much I will miss him, his help, his jokes, his hugs, and his desk lamp shining too late in the night.  I sit here and cry thinking about how very different HOME will be when he goes away to University.  And I just don’t like it.  At. All.

He is becoming the man God wants him to be, he is growing both physically taller and Spiritually stronger.  He asks the hard questions, he seeks out truth, and he stands for what is right.  He is not going to be stopped.  He might get knocked down in the future, but he will become stronger for it.  I realize that from his first day of kindergarten, 2 weeks late, that his school, his teachers and his class mates, have all been preparing him for his future.  Now that he is a senior it is the last chance that his educators have to prepare him for his next steps in his future.

He has already been accepted into one University on his list.  He has a few more that he is looking into.  When I got the text announcing his acceptance I cried, and I know I will cry so much more during this time.

This is it.

I realize how significant this year is, how much time I have left to show and tell him the things that are so important.  I want him to know how very much he is loved, how very proud we are of him, and how exciting the future will be as he continues to seek God in the very future that is taking him away from home.

He is loyal and loving, committed until exhaustion, and will not back down for what is right.  PS adores him, when he is busy, and cannot play with her, she cries when he shuts the gate to the boys hallway, she commands for him to come play with her.  He folds his 6’3 frame into a small person chair to play kitchen with her, while he works on homework, she serves him pizza and demands play doh balls.  He watches shows over and over to watch them with J for his first time.  He helps the little girls when they don’t want it, but need it, he helps with understanding homework, and he complains about messy bathrooms.  He shares my food anxiety, and my love of the beach.  He shares his fathers quest for knowledge but not his love of sports.  History is exciting to him, and he shares the This Day In History facts with us every day.

So this year I will cry a whole lot more, I will hug him and scratch his back, I will appreciate his weird humor and political comments.  I will seek time out with him, letting him be who he is,and appreciating this last little bit with him.  I know how fast this year will be and I don’t want to miss it.

His last porch picture for LCS.
His time as a student there is so close to ending.

Go hug your kids, especially you mamas with stinky diapers and spit up on your shoulder.  Sit down and watch your child play, listen to their stories, laugh at their jokes, and join in their land of make-believe. Because I swear to you, that in just a few short seconds time has moved on and you will be watching them fill out college applications.  You will be just as surprised as I was!
jen