I'm a mom of a high school senior — FranklyStein

Tomorrow my oldest starts her senior year of high school.

She's a senior as in, it's her last year. She's going to be 18 in a few months. Next year at this time — in five minutes — she'll be gone.

I'm not really in touch with this fact. At a senior parent coffee the other morning at school, I drank two cups of dark roast coffee and promptly started having a panic attack. (I usually drink decaf). They were talking about graduation dresses, college application deadlines and senior week at the beach. According to the Power Point, we should have spent summer vacation visiting colleges.

I found myself needing to take deep breaths.

It was our intention to check out a few schools over the summer but between swimming, lifeguarding and her summer school work — we visited exactly zero. The afternoon after the coffee, I scheduled a visit. We are heading off today —the last day of vacation — and to make up for my failure, I am taking my high school juniors along. At least they will be able to say they are ahead of the game — for now.

The afternoon after the coffee, my senior texted me a couple of proofs of her senior portrait. She looked so grown up, I almost didn't recognize her. A small lump is starting to form in my throat. By the end of the year, it's going to be painful. And next year when she's gone? I'll have two high school seniors. Ouch.

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FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein, who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 17, Lilly, 15, Adam, 15, and Jonah, 11.