That seems melodramatic, and yet it is completely true.
I have three years left with my eldest.
I was sitting at the band concert two weeks ago, suffering through three different bands' worth of music. Then we hit the A1 band, mostly juniors and seniors. They honored the seniors who were receiving scholarships.
One's earned the right to attend the Eastman School of Music. I started to tear up, and I don't even know the young woman.
It got worse. The eldest's band director has a 26-year tradition of playing "Stars and Stripes Forever" as the last song for the seniors. Each one stood up, walked to the front of the stage. They played their best. This included the seniors who didn't ever make A1 band; they came up from seats specially placed nearby.
I was crying. Seriously crying. I barely know most of those kids. The clarinetist I know best, because she eased the way for the eldest as a freshman this year.
My first thought: I have to bring a box of tissues three years from now, because I am not going to make it.
My second thought: Dear God. I only have three more years.
My friends who have been through this already have warned me that the high school years go so fast.
It is easy to forget that, as you struggle to get through each week with band, soccer, Scouts, church, obligations. You miss the forest for the trees.
In my years as her mom, I've fretted about this, and this, and this.
In retrospect, they weren't that big of a deal.
Three years. I'm going to try and make the most of them before she grows up, goes to college, and leaves us to become her own person.