Today was the last morning that Michael went to high school.
It’s finally over. Graduation is Saturday.
When the month of May 2013 passes, what I’ll remember most about these whirlwind days will be moments like this one. Times when I’m observing a tender ending or a “final, last time.”
Like Senior Ball. His final race. The end of the year Crew Banquet. Those are some of the bigger “last times” but this morning was a small and meaningful to me.
Each school day I am the first one out of bed. My routine is simple; I make a pot of coffee in front of this window and turn on Morning Joe so I can listen to the news while I make breakfast for Michael. I refer to this quiet time as my “morning bliss.” While breakfast is cooking, I’m pulling food out of the fridge to make Michael’s lunch. During his rowing season I made two large, healthy lunches because his workouts were so intense. This is how my mornings always began.
I was taking this photo early in the morning when Mr. Moss walked by.
“Well this is it, “ I announced to him. “All these years while the kids were in school, I had my routine…. and now it’s coming to an end. It’s been my little version of morning bliss.”
“Morning bliss?” He laughed, “That’s not exactly how I remember it.” And I know in that second he’s referring to those chaotic parts of the morning; the ones that include my loud yells down the hallway.
“Michaeeeeeel… are you up yet?!”
Well duh. Of course it includes the craziness. The lost car keys. The school form that suddenly needs to be signed at the last minute. Michael walking out the door barefoot (“my shoes are in the car”) while I shove his lunch into his hands and ask him if he has enough gas. And me, sticking my head out the front door while I’m holding Stella’s collar, shouting “Don’t speed!”
Who ever said ‘bliss’ meant perfect?
The truth is, mothering is composed of millions of little moments that are woven together with tender acts of love and worry. We have daily routines that are honed by years of cozy repetition so in the end, each person—mom and child— really knows each other. Knows how to plough through stressful mornings and cranky moods and irascible questions. Like these.
“Ok, do you have everything?” I ask before he leaves.
“Mom, do you know you say that every morning?”
And in the next second he’s bending down so I can kiss his forehead before he bolts out the door
These are the sort of ordinary moments that make me pause these days. I want to relish it all. I want to take a mental snapshot in my mind of us at the kitchen island talking. Just being together on one of our mornings.
Because I’m fully aware that he’ll be leaving soon.
Is it my hormones? No. The truth is, I’ve always been this way. A feeler. A hopeless sentimental type. A griever of sorts.
The other night while we watched the Office finale from our traditional places on our lumpy, brown sectional, I listened to Michael and his Dad calculate how our family began watching The Office when he was only in sixth grade.
As the last show began, Michael jokingly said, “ Hey Mom, what are the odds of the final Office show happening during my last week of high school? Wow.. looks like my childhood is officially over.”
And I just smiled back… with a lump in my throat.
The final race
(P.S. a note to all my dear blogger friends: yes, I’ve been away. I haven’t figured out a way to blog during these crazy days and I’ve missed you all. But I’ll be back to regular posting shortly. And most importantly, I look forward to catching up on your lives, reading and commenting on your posts... I hope you understand. )