Julie Lyles Carr: Mamasenioristis

Thursday, November 3, 2011


It's something I've somewhat been able to avoid.

Being a homeschool family and all.

At least the way we homeschool.

When 1 of 8 was technically a senior in high school, she was also technically a sophomore in college. She was doing dual credit classes at our amazing community college and was deep into chemistry and French and dreaming of pre-med classes. We had moved to our present city right before she became a junior in high school and she dove into the college experience, finishing off her high school classes and prepping for her sojourn at UT and the Sorbonne.

So, all in all, because we weren't involved in a homeschool co-op and we were new to the community and I was up to my eyeballs in caring for newborn twins and trying to figure out our new community, we sort of kind of pretty much skipped the whole emotional thing about High School Senior Year.

And now we're to 2 of 8. And we're still homeschooling. And we're still not part of a homeschool co-op.

But I think we're going to get to do the whole emotional High School Senior Year thing in spades.

2 of 8 has now been dancing with her dance company for four years. These girls are best friends, share a passion for dance, have been through thick and thin together. We've traveled the country together, had awesome wins and some disappointments along the way. They've been there for each other, giggling together, crying together, praying together, dancing together.

And this year, 2 of 8 and one of her dearest buddies, KZ, are seniors. And this will be their last year to dance with the company and to compete together.

I'm feeling it. I'm feeling it big time.

2 of 8 and I hit the road tomorrow for their first convention. 2 of 8 will be giving her premiere performance of her contemporary solo and the company will be competing their group dances for the first time this dance season. Last night, I ran by the dance school to pick up 5 and 6 of 8 from their rehearsals and found myself standing at the observation window, watching 2 of 8 and her group in their final prep for this weekend. Watching she and KZ moving in familiar cadence. Watching 2 of 8 and her duet partner, KQ, an inexplicably gorgeous harmony of move and counter move. I watched all these girls I have come to love so deeply, pouring their hearts out on the Marley floors.

And I was hit. Hit hard. Hit with a bad case of mamasenioritis.

Because next year, this familiar routine of every night at the dance studio will be no more. The deep sisterhood of these girls will experience distance and destiny as 2 of 8 and KZ head toward their dreams, newly graduated. Next year, some of the remaining girls will step into the maternity of The Seniors, leading, guiding, coaching. And 2 of 8 and KZ won't be there.

And neither will I. Not as I have been.


So that's the feeling all my public and private school mama friends have been talking about.


I have a feeling this dance season for me will be a weepy one. A weepy one that has sneaked up on me. Some of the pressures and traditions and markers of Senior Year, we miss or avoid in our homeschool journey.

But there is one that none of us as parents can audit.

And that is the beauty and the ache of letting go.

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