Yesterday my senior daughter performed in her very last show choir competition, ever. It’s over. An era has come to an end. It was an era filled with stress during tryouts, always wondering if this was the season she could be cut. Her Mondays and Wednesdays will be hers again. Our checking account will be a little fatter as we no longer need to pay the annual fee to the school that covers the costumes, choreography, travel and other expenses. It’s official, 15 years of being a family that has a child in a competitive activity (my son played soccer) has come to an end. Until yesterday at 4:30 pm when I saw her on stage, I thought I was ready for this moment, completely. Who doesn’t want their Saturdays back? In fairness, her schedule only took 3-5 Saturdays per year, but those years of soccer were a different story. I can’t lie though, seeing her yesterday, knowing it was over, kind of broke me.
It isn’t the show choir aspect that broke me. It is the fact that in a few short months, my years of being an active parent to minor children is coming to an end. Her brother was born in 1997 and it’s now 2020, someone else can do that math on how long we have been raising children. In so many ways I am so ready. The Saturdays, which I already spoke of will be coveted. No longer playing musical cars because she has someplace she has to be will be so refreshing. But, these lasts, and firsts, that we are experiencing makes our future so much clearer. Last month she performed in her very last federation for violin. Next month she will be performing in her last solo and ensemble. Her last voice recital will be in June, the day after her high school graduation. In April, after 13 years of violin lessons, she will be finishing up with the teacher who has known her since she was 3 years old. We have a semester filled with college events, scholarship events, projects, etc. The time is going to fly by and one week after graduation she is going to Europe for over 2 weeks to celebrate her graduation. My baby is going to be leaving us and it’s going to be really, really hard. I knew that it would hit me, I just wasn’t expecting it to hit me in a high school gym in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin.
She seems ready though. On Thursday night her college hosted a meet and greet for students from our area of Wisconsin. She loved it. My normally shy girl was talking to the president of the university with confidence. She asked questions, answered questions and proved she is more than capable of living 100 miles away from us on a campus she is not familiar with. I felt nothing but pride and happiness for her that night and the feeling of sadness I felt yesterday was nowhere to be found. I will have to remember that feeling when I look at her and feel sad. She is going to be doing what she was raised to do, take those wings and fly away. I know she will always come back and thankfully, I will have no problem stalking her on campus if necessary.
My girl performing. I cannot take credit for this photo, a friend took it for me and I am grateful for that.