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I am the mother of a high school senior. 

This means I am perpetually getting into my purse for one of three things: 1)tissues (see, “senior moment”); 2)my credit card; 3)my phone (see, “camera to record senior moment for which I will need a tissue”).

My mind is spinning more than usual these days, ever since the calendar year and my daughter’s graduation year turned into THE SAME NUMBER, God help me.

But in the midst of all the spinning, my brain seems to be on a continual loop with the following recurring thoughts…

  1. I have GOT to memorize her social security number.
  2. Exactly how much meat do I need for a taco bar for 200 people?
  3. Where is that video of her singing that solo in that school program that year when she was in elementary school?
  4. Will this be the last time she’s home for Valentine’s Day/putting up the Christmas tree/her birthday/family game night? Did I take enough pictures this time around in case it is? Where is my phone? Where ARE the tissues?
  5. Will she like these cups for her party? (Takes picture of cups while hiding in the electrical supply aisle at the grocery store. Sends to prospective graduate for approval.)
  6. I cannot believe this is her last band concert/basketball game/high school musical/swim meet/pediatrician’s well-check.
  7. My entire life has become an acronym: FAFSA, EFC, SAR, GPA, SAT, ACT.(SOS.)
  8. How far in advance can an extended weather forecast for the day of her party be trusted?
  9. June is only how many months away?
  10. Did I miss the deadline for that scholarship application/yearbook senior picture submission/graduation party rental?
  11. I have GOT to make a list.
  12. “Just buy the basic model and put the extra $250 into a college fund, for crying out loud!” (Upon hearing about a $299 baby monitor that tells parents when they’re low on diapers.)
  13. This is not just a year of lasts. It’s really just the last year before a year of firsts.
  14. Have I made her favorite meal lately? Has she been home to eat her favorite meal lately?
  15. Why did we wait so long to do all the stuff around this house that needs to be done before her party?
  16. Please, God, don’t let it rain on graduation.
  17. Please, God, don’t let it rain on her party.
  18. I think I’d better start listening to “Pomp and Circumstance” over and over to try to build up my emotional immunity.
  19. Note to self: buy waterproof mascara.
  20. I don’t think I could love this child more than I do right now. But I thought that when she was born, and look what’s happened since.

If you’re in this season right now, what’s going around on your mental hamster wheel these days? If you’ve been there and done that, what do you remember thinking over…and over…and over? If these days are still ahead of you (way, way ahead…don’t think about it yet), maybe you know a senior parent you can pass this along to. And while you’re at it, hand them a tissue, will you?

Elizabeth Spencer

Elizabeth Spencer is mom to two daughters (one teen and one young adult) who regularly dispense love, affection, and brutally honest fashion advice. She writes about faith, food, and family (with some occasional funny thrown in) at Guilty Chocoholic Mama and avoids working on her 100-year-old farmhouse by spending time on Facebook and Twitter.

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