Senior Moments

Conventional definition of a “senior moment” includes forgetfulness brought about by age. I have a new definition.

Senior Moment: n. random incidents of crying brought about by the fact your child is graduating from high school (also applicable to college).

I’m always proud of her. We’ve had our moments of frustration, sure. But when I look at how far she has come, how she has changed and all that she’s accomplished, all I can think is, “Wow. That went fast.” And that knot shows up in my stomach, which moves to my throat. Sometimes the knot stays small, and sometimes it grows and escapes from my tear ducts.

Then the disjointed worries come. Can she handle college? Did I do okay? Is she scarred for life because of something I didn’t do? How much is Asperger’s going to get in the way of everything? How much should I get involved? She’s my daughter, but she’ll be a college student.

I’ve come to realize though that she no longer struggles to the point where I need to “fix” anything. Thank God, she trusts me and will tell me if she’s got a problem and asks what she should do. She doesn’t need or want me to fix it, just point her in the right direction.

Pass me a tissue.

She hugs me good bye and hello.

Pass another tissue, please.

She asks me to proofread her papers.

Yeah, I’m still shocked at that one.

Last month, she asked me to proofread the copy of her testimony for our church’s Youth Sunday worship service. The teens run the service, and some of the seniors speak and deliver a testimony in keeping with the theme. A Bible verse is connected with the testimony as well.

The theme is Diamonds, referring to a worship experience the youth had during a weekend mission trip to Chicago. My daughter and I talked about what diamonds go through to become diamonds: pressure, heat, stress. But we also talked about how the diamonds don’t come out of the ground faceted and sparkly.

It takes a craftsman to make that happen.

She took the idea and worked with it. And a few days later, she gave me the rough draft for thoughts and suggestions.

I read it and I cried.

There’s very little that I edited, because I wanted it to be genuine. She’s not a zircon, after all. She’s a diamond. And not all diamonds are perfect, but they’re still beautiful.

She wound up speaking at all three services. Speaking in front of 150 to 400 people at a time is a big step out of her comfort zone. Doing it three times? That’s dancing into new territory.

Her main topic was weathering her parents’ divorce. But she also talked about how people with Asperger’s don’t weather change well. These were the pressures forming a diamond…along with school, the usual stresses of high school socializing, and trying to find a new normal.

You can hear it in her own words. And as was read at the beginning, her support scripture was Jeremiah 29:11-12…”For I know the plans I have for you…”

Now she’s all registered for college. I am shocked at how fast 18 years went by. I still carry a mother’s fears in my heart…did I do okay? I have my senior moments…I mean, I cried when I picked up her graduation cake at the market. I apologized to the person working in the bakery. She just smiled and said, “I get it. Been there.”

I’m not sure why I started this post. Parents, hug your kids. They have trusted us for a long time and they still can. But we need to trust them too, and reassure them that if they stumble, we’ll help them through. There are plans in place that we cannot see. Plans for a hope and a future.

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Snapshot: Waking Up

I had a hard time getting up this morning, and not because I’d been up late watching Star Wars: A New Hope with my daughter. In my dreams I got to spend time with someone I don’t see in person very often. And I didn’t want to go. Usually, I have to force myself to wake up. This time, I forced myself to stay asleep. It was equal amounts sweet and sad, but I’ll take it for now.

As was said in Romancing the Stone, I am a “hopeful romantic”.

Fun and Games with Conversation Hearts

To every season, there is a sweet. Easter has Cadbury eggs, Peeps, and Reese’s peanut butter eggs, which, to my delight, also exist at Christmas as trees and Halloween as pumpkins. In February, ’tis the season for heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, chocolate covered cherries, and, of course, Conversation Hearts.

I prefer the large Conversation Hearts. They’re not as hard as the small ones, and there’s more room for creative writing.

I understand that the maker of these sugary seasonal tidbits tries to keep up with the times, but when I set aside my sugar fix long enough to actually read these things, I try to picture having an actual conversation with them. The results are amusing, and occasionally disturbing.

Will You Marry Me?, True LoveForever Yours, and Sweet Talk: Classics. Nostalgic. Romantic and quaint.

Your Gal/Your Guy: A little pushy…or maybe overconfident…but cute under the right circumstances.

Heart Beat: Okay. I hope you have one. And?

Cool: For those of few words.

Mega Kiss: Sounds like a Dementor is attacking.

Sorry:  Rejection, or apology?

You’re So Cool: Leaning sarcastic.

Be My Friend: Hmm. Friendzoned via candy.

Ask Me Anything: Okay, there’s potential for a fun conversation.

Let’s Do Lunch: Seriously? Have your people call my people.

Shining Star: Manhattans? Or Earth, Wind and Fire?

Wild One: You’ve been warned.

Fax Me: If you pass this Conversation Heart to someone, and they do NOT know what a fax is, they are too young for you. Just sayin’. On the flip side, if you’re under a certain age, and neither of you know what a fax is, you’re good to go.

Dancing Queen: This one is fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. And you’re welcome for the ear worm.

Save Me: Desperate much?

For Keeps: Clingy.

Miss You: Awww. Send a box of these – just these – to your favorite military service person, or the other half of your long-distance relationship.

What Next: Don’t know, but it’s reminiscent of President Bartlet on The West Wing.

XOXO: Shorthand for hugs and kisses before texting was cool. Mix these in with the Miss Yous before mailing.:-)

Okay, your turn. What’s the wackiest, oddest, most pointless Conversation Heart you’ve ever come across?