To My Parents on My First Day of Senior Year
By: Lauren Ruby
Dear Mom and Dad,
I’m about to be a senior in high school, and I know what must be going through your heads. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Wow, I’m old. My baby is graduating high school!”, and it’s true… you are old. However, so am I. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you I don’t miss the days of me snuggled up in a ball, watching cartoons with you on a Friday night. Part of me wants to be a little kid again and live with you forever, and part of me wishes I didn’t have to leave after this year. I’m sure you are wishing the same things.
Yet, there is only one more year you will have to deal with my routine bad moods each morning before school and my messy room. Before you know it, I’ll be living at some college, with some people you don’t know, and dancing with boys you probably wouldn’t like. It’s okay, though, because you taught me well. I know not to set my drink down and pick it back up later. I know not to walk home alone. Most importantly, I know I will always have a place back home if I ever need a home cooked meal or someone to do my laundry or just some unconditional love.
Thank you for helping me get this far. I could not have made it through the endless stupid girl drama or the broken hearts or the piles of homework and stress without both of you. You pushed me to always do my best, and my best was always good enough for the two of you.
I have a feeling you both will be doing a lot of crying this year. It’s okay to cry in front of me sometimes. It’s nice to know you care about me and remind me that this stage of my life is so hard for you too. But, please don’t cry too much. I know this is difficult for you but the last thing I want is for you to be upset. I’m trying my best to make everyone happy, but senior year is my time, my time to be happy. Let me be happy and sad and feel everything I’m supposed to feel. We can ride this emotional rollercoaster together.
As I said, part of me wishes I didn’t have to leave. Yet, most of me is beyond excited to start this new chapter of my life. Senior year is a crazy time for everyone but I know I’m going to have a lot of fun. Please let me have my fun. Let me go on senior spring break and participate in water wars and make my own mistakes. If I don’t make any mistakes now with you around the corner waiting to teach me a lesson, I won’t be ready to go off on my own. Yet, I feel I am ready for this chapter of my life. I want to be independent, and I want to show you you did your job, and you did it well.
When I walk at graduation, please don’t be sad that I’m graduating. Be proud of yourselves for helping me get to this moment. I mean it when I say I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. I love you both and leaving you will be the hardest thing I’ll ever have to do. So, let’s enjoy this year together. There will be tears and laughing and yelling and many decisions that will have to be made. All I ask is that you support me as you always have.
Moral of the story, I’m not a little kid anymore. I don’t need you to hold my hand or change my clothes or rock me to sleep so please don’t try to treat me like a little kid. What I do need is your love and support. I need you now more than ever just in a different way than ever before. I’m going to get frustrated and be difficult to handle sometimes, but just please understand this is just as hard for me as it is for you. No matter what happens next, just know that I need you and will always need you (and may even want to hold your hand).
It’s true; we’re all getting old. But hey, I made it this far. Thanks for everything mom and dad. You did your job; I’m going to graduate and go off to college. This is what we’ve always wanted.
Your high school senior