Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

Time for the Last Senior Year

Rose Murphy


One more senior year, one last child at home, ready to go out into the world, believing all he needs is to be on his own. My other two have long since graduated and moved on with their lives. Next year, this last child will be gone to college. School will not be far away, this is true, but it will be different from here on out. He will be an adult and independent, for the most part. A new respect will be given; a different admiration toward his outlook will be noticed.

I am reminded of the daughters when they left, their promises of dropping by often, but later the visits were not as close together as they were supposed to be. It was not their fault, and we did see them, of course.  But their lives grew and expanded. Once they left home, the world became a bigger place, with more opportunities lying before them. They became adults and fit in the image of unique individuals quickly.

This is the moment, as parents, that we anticipate. From the moment a parent runs alongside a little one on a two-wheeler without the training wheels, it is a work in progress to help the child get ready to leave the house. The senior year is the time when the birds can fly safely from the nest. This is what being a parent has been all about. It is complicated. All this time we look forward to this moment for our children, and yet it is also a time we have dreaded their whole lives.

Time. I know it takes years to reach Venus. A beautiful live oak tree can grow for six hundred years, outliving hurricanes, wars, and millions of children climbing its limbs. Styrofoam and disposable diapers will live eternally on the earth, long after I am gone. I think of all the time I have spent waiting in long lines, in waiting rooms, and sitting in cars on the highways. All this is just time. And not till later do we understand it.

I do not understand why time allows eighteen years to go by this quickly. Maybe it speeds up so we can have the memories to keep in the files of our minds to cherish longer.

This year my son will graduate from Daphne High School as an honor student and will make it to the University of South Alabama with a scholarship. This year, his life will only just begin. 

I will get to witness one last time, a part of me moving on out into the world. It is a great experience to see. It is time for him.

Life is great, isn't it? If only we could have a bit more of the time.

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Rose Murphy was born and raised in the South. She writes fiction and nonfiction and has a mystery in the works.

© Rose Murphy

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012