Saturday, June 20, 2009

PROJECT 365...senior year begins \0/

adding some more moments to my Project 365, hosted by Sarah
senior year officially began once the kids got out of school; however, it made a bigger impact on me when the reality set in with the "senior things" you must do with your "almost-grown" senior formal pictures....draped shoulders, pearls, coiffed hair, half tuxedos, black bow ties.

We've had many pictures done throughout the years of childhood, yet this one has such a different feel. I'm beginning to see the end of my being her catalyst for getting things done during school, at home, or even going to church. She will be making those decisions on her own very soon.

Meanwhile, we are taking little steps one at a time, confirming her "senior-hood"down the normal path where millions have already traveled. What did they feel as they were beginning to accept the reality? It is unknown territory for me and dd, but it is something she has been looking forward to with each passing year. However, as we were walking from the SUV..."I can't believe you're a senior", I said then was immediately followed by her saying, "I don't want to be a senior, that means the year is going to go by too quickly!"

HHHHmmmmmm....maybe I could pull her off to the side and say, "OK, we can go back and repeat junior year to give us a little more time together before you leave my nest".

But I know the impossibility of that longing swirling around in my head. She so loves her classmates and the time they've had together while growing up in church, in the neighborhood and at too-many-to count sporting events and chorus shows. There's 'no way' she would want to put the brakes on and pass on being in every moment of this up-coming senior year.

Being the "senior Mom" that I am, my fresh, new batteries had been loaded into my new camera, which will not be leaving my pocketbook this entire year. Something might happen at one of those unknown moments and I have to be able to capture it for the "senior file". So, as we opened the door to the school, I was already beginning to think of the "impromptu" photos I was going to make (without my flash) while the photographer was doing his job posing senior girl.

There was no line and we walked right in after signing in with the host table. She got to take a couple of 'casual' poses with an "over-sized" 2010 she wore her letter jacket. "My
goodness, this is REALLY happening," I was thinking in between my positioning her long strands of hair before each shot. Once those were done, we scurried off to the women's room to prepare her drape and pin it in place around her shoulders.
As we returned to the 'formal' shots, one of her best friends from her entire childhood was having his formal shot made right next to her area...there he sat, dapper in his 'half tuxedo-ed' upper half with his sockless, well-worn tennis shoes and ragged bluejeans on the lower
half...too funny! So, being the sweet, Senior Mom that I am, I took pics of him too!
I'm eager to see the proofs and pick the one for the annual, or yearbook as they call it now.
This past week, the next small step we decided to make was "more casual" shots with a professional photographer that many of our friends have used over the years. He is absolutely delightful as he works with the client, making her feel so 'at home' and 'less nervous'. He mentioned he had a daughter who had just graduated and that he was very aware of those 'nerves' that kick in before these photo shoots.

During the myriad of locations, backdrops and outfits changes, he was always explaining what he was trying to accomplish and giving her very good direction for her hair, arms, smile, etc. That 'senior mom' in me kicked in here,, out came my camera and I quickly shot a couple of 'remember-this-moment' shots for my blog and the senior file.

Just so you know, I was standing in the doorway of the photo studio taking these impromptu snaps and didn't want to get in the way of the photographer as he was doing his thing. They were standing about 50 yards away from me, across a beautifully sculpted Southern garden...lilies, oak trees, hosta, boxwood shrubs and magnolia trees every where you looked. Between the doorway I was standing in and the location of their shoot, was a swing. They were positioned perfectly so I took my shot...when I got home I was excited to 'crop' it down to bring more emphasis to the swing.

Swinging was one of her 'favorite' past times when she attended after-school daycare.
A swing brings me back to memories of lying across the swing on her belly when she was 2 then sliding off the front of it face first into the sandy playground and coming up with a face full of sand, tears streaming down her face as she toddled to the babysitter.
A tire swing was her main activity during 'outside time'...spinning around and around...that would have made me so sick but she adored it, wanting to go faster and faster.
Oh, the many ways this could send me off on a writing spree!

Swinging into the future...
Swinging from my heart out into the world...
Swinging is behind her now, she's off to bigger things...

Thanks for letting me go on and's just the 'senior mom' in me needing to vent her excitement and fears...then, maybe these steps will get a little easier to take.


Mocha with Linda said...

Wow - what a sweet picture and what a beautiful yard!

Karen said...

I remember those special times with three of my own. Enjoy every moment!

sara said...

this will be my "2nd" senior year!! After having been through it once, I do think it makes it a bit easier but also certainly give me the insight to know I want to document every minute!!

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Babysitter here, I remember that sand encrusted face toddling over to me, she had sand in every crevice, crack, up her nose, in her was everywhere...

wow, that was a really long time ago!!!

TCKK said...

I've got a senior now too!!

Dena said...

My twin girls just graduated last year, and the senior mom heart strings are still very raw. But, I can tell you that after one year of them being out in the "real world" I've already seen such a maturity that makes me so proud. Enjoy the senior year. You're does go by very fast.

Crown of Beauty said...

What a tear jerker your post was. I felt such a lump on my throat, and was teary all the time I was reading this. What a lovely photo of the swing with your daughter and dad in the background. Wow, I'm sure your album will be beautiful, and your heart will be filled anew with lovely memories!

I salute you, "senior mom"!

Lisa said...

I feel like I just got a glimpse into the future. I guess its one of those things you don't think will happen for a very long time and then suddenly you find yourself "there". I'm sure it will be a fun year, but will go by so quickly!

Joops said...

I agree with Lisa, I think I would feel the same with my children!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

God will give you what you need at exactly the right time to get through this thing. I promise. It nearly ripped my insides apart, but rather than "stuffing it", I decide to embrace my emotions (not a hard leap for me) and just feel it all. Thus, in addition to my camera, I kept a box of kleenexes handy.

These are strange times for a parent; it's hard to know what to feel, how to deal, what's real and what you're supposed to do with all of that! I'm struggling now with a 2nd child's release; it's different this time around, but nonetheless is requiring of me more than I imagined.

Please know that I (at least in part) understand where you are with this. I'll be praying, and if you ever need to talk further, you know where to find me.