Contemplating the last firsts in high school

August 30, 2016

Friday night I felt so much excitement as I pulled into the Fike High School parking lot for Friday night football.  I don’t know what it is, but the feeling when you combine the cool air, taste of popcorn, loud cheers, watching the coaches do what they do best, the team doctor yelling on the sidelines, the young kids playing football beside the stands, and hearing the hard hits, it is a feeling like no other. And then I see my daughter - walking on the track with some of her friends and at that moment I felt a pang of sadness. How am I a parent of a senior? I guess that makes me a senior mom. 

Seems like yesterday I was meeting her kindergarten teacher with her matching lunch box and book bag.  We’ve taken senior pictures, she’s had her last, first volleyball game of high school.  We went shopping this past weekend for the last time to buy school supplies for high school. Yesterday was the senior parade. 

 I’m not sure how to act.  I feel every emotion possible. Raising her has been such pleasure. Don’t misunderstand - we’ve had our battles with getting up in the morning, doing her chores, putting the cell phone away, fighting with her sister and I could go on and on. But amongst all of the challenges, there is no better feeling than watching your child grow and learn.  It’s been my goal to raise happy and healthy daughters. My husband and I encourage healthy friendships, we want our kids to be active, go to church, eat well, exercise, spend time with family, talk to us when they have problem, study hard, make lots of friends, volunteer and be role models. As a parent, my goal is to make sure this happens. All of these things are keys to raising children.

I was an athlete in high school; I played four sports. My father was a football coach and my mom was our biggest cheerleader – they were my role models. I look back and realize some of my best times and life lessons were from my parents and on the playing field.  These experiences are priceless for children.  For some, it may be the theatre, band room or dance studio. We don’t know what path our children will take but we can certainly lay the ground work. 

So as I approach many last, first days of high school events, think of me as I go through every emotion possible this year, watching my senior continue to grow and learn. It is indeed bittersweet, knowing so many things will come to an end only to realize, it is the beginning of so many new and exciting future adventures.  And wish me luck as my other daughter approaches middle school and I soon will be going through all this again.

Lisa Briley is the director of Marketing & Development, Physician Recruitment and Provider Relations & Industry (PRI) at Wilson Medical Center.