This evening I attended my last high school choir concert. This is really the last activity except for the graduation ceremony next Sunday evening – and then my youngest child will be out of high school and ready to venture out into the world on her own.
And with that pivotal moment in her life — my career as “mom” will come to an end. Oh, I realize that I will always be a mother, but the job description will definitely change. I will no longer be responsible for my children’s well-being and teaching them to become independent; they have already grown up and become fine upstanding citizens who can make it just fine on their own. I will be trading in my role as disciplinarian for that of friend. And while I am very much looking forward to this new relationship, it is rather sad that my lifelong dream of becoming a “mommy” is now over.
I look back over these past twenty-five years and truly wonder where the time went. I remember when my oldest was three months old and I as I looked out our bay window in New York City and I saw a young toddler riding a tricycle I wondered aloud, Will she ever get that old? Will she ever be able to walk on her own and express her feelings in some other way than crying in the middle of the night? And here Megan is today waking up in the middle of the night with her own little girl. As I was raising my children, the days often seemed to drag, but somehow the years have passed much too quickly.
From the time they were infants, I tried to instill a love of music in each of my children. While I never excelled in vocal performance, being a part of the band was my saving grace in high school. It gave me a sense of belonging at a time when I often felt out of place – and I wanted my own children to experience that kind of acceptance. And each one of them have — although none of them through instrumental music, but all of them through voice. My eldest toured with the Continental Singers the summer before her senior year, and she attended Belmont University for music business. My son enjoyed several leads in school musicals, and is currently living in Nashville and pursuing his career in audio engineering. And while Mandy does not plan to continue to study music in the future, she has definitely developed her singing talent over these past three years.
Tonight Mandy sang a solo – which she dedicated to her Gram, my mother, in front of a packed auditorium of over 500 people. My hands shake when I have to speak in front of more than three people, but Mandy was so well-poised and sang beautifully. I tried to videotape the performance, but due to my amateur status, the picture and sound did not mesh. Suffice it to say, she did great and has made both her parents quite proud.
So tonight signals the end of an era. The end to a great run as parents to three amazing children. And now as we close the chapter on this particular book of life, I look forward to seeing what other adventure stories lie ahead.