Have you ever heard of FutureMe.org? You can send your future self an email. I just got one that I sent to myself because this is my number three childʻs last week in high school. I told myself to be patient and mindful, because I knew that the now-me would be a bundle of emotions and feeling quite nearly overwhelmed with all the teacher-y year-end stuff. When you get your email from your past self, you have the option to email a future you. So, of course, I sent an email for next year - for the Friday before my last childʻs high school graduation.
Now that is going to be a killer. It might be even more killer the first day of the school year here without any of my kids. When I first came to this school, my oldest son was a senior. The year after he graduated, I found myself looking for him in the morning protocol bunch and feeling sad that he wasnʻt there. He wasnʻt far, but he had moved out into an apartment, was attending college, had started his adult life (with a few bumps on the way). I suspect that my youngest may be the only one that gets enough scholarship money to go to the continent for college... and that will be hard. I wonʻt be able to drop off food, or just generally check in (not that I did enough of that, frankly).
I feel like this graduation (which is my last official work day of the year) is this big hurdle that I just have to get over, but the truth is, itʻs just one. As a teacher, I count my years from August to July, and this year has been a doozy. Iʻd like to think that once those lei get placed around the graduatesʻ necks (my fingers are sore from making lei), the year will be over and all itʻs challenges behind us. But, the truth is, my second son may need another lung surgery, we have to continue to be vigilant about the possibility of recurrent cancer for my husband, and next year is another senior year hell of applications for colleges, scholarships, AP tests and SAT tests and all the rest of it.
That sounds really gloomy. I donʻt actually feel that gloomy - hence the email to myself to be a little more patient and mindful. Although helping kids with college scholarship applications is pretty darned stressful for me, itʻs also a pretty joyful process. All that guiding and encouraging, cheering on and nagging unmercifully, is paying off. Applying for scholarships, reading the essays they write for them, itʻs a celebration as much as it is a prayer (or begging, I donʻt know) that they get the means to follow their dreams is a way that wonʻt bankrupt their future.