Monday, August 17, 2009


My daughter is officially a "high schooler." How did I get here? It all happened so fast. One minute, Claire was in the playroom taking spontaneous naps as she fell asleep in the middle of Barbies and dress up gowns.

The next thing I know, I'm picking out her very first lunch box adorned with Disney princesses, and kissing her goodbye as I walk her into the kindergarten room.

Not long after that, I'm carpooling to the middle school and parking around the corner (as far away as possible) so that Claire will not be embarrassed by a mother who yells: "Hi Guys!!! How was your day????"

And this morning.... just before sunrise, I drop Claire off in the parking lot at Great Oak High School. She's dressed in a Lycra dance uniform with a gym bag slung over her shoulder. She suddenly looks so old! As I pull up to the school, a pack of football players cross in front of my car as they make their way to the locker room. A group of cheerleaders huddles on the curb hoping an athlete will glance in their direction. A few seniors are sitting on the asphalt with paints, making the final touches on art work which designates their personal parking spaces. In my head I'm thinking: "I'm throwing my little girl to the wolves." I am not ready for this; for cars, boys with facial hair, dating, grades that now count, college applications ...... hours and hours of parental worry. I know there will be a constant prayer in my heart "Please Heavenly Father, keep her safe. Help her to make good choices."

But .... I'm excited too. I think back on my own high school years and remember all those "firsts": first pep club march at a football game (at East High, our greatest rival) , first date (Marx Brother's movie with Sam Souvall), first Homecoming dance, first time behind the wheel (Driver's Ed with Mr. Watson, who looked a little like Jackie Gleason). Great, great times --memories that I wouldn't trade for anything. Sometimes, I wish I could go back and re-live a typical day -- walking down those high school halls sporting my groovy cords, clogs and a turtleneck; sliding down the banisters on my way to class; stuffing books into my already stuffed locker. I loved you Highland High. Not everyone has a great highschool experience, but I did. You were so, so good to me.
Oh daughter, you are going to have such fun!! Savor these days, they only happen once.

I watch Claire's face as she gets out of the car and smiles at her friends who just happen to be the girls huddled on the curb. As she closes the door I utter the same farewell I've repeated for the past 9 years: "Have a great day!!!! I love you!!." Claire responds with a mumble. My heart hurts just a little bit as I realize I have only 4 more years until the day she crosses another milestone and moves away from home.

Postscript: Tonight as I sat enjoying a romantic dinner in the Temecula vineyards, I hear the wedding march being played in the distance. I burst into tears. My husband just stares at me thinking I've gone crazy. He musters up the courage to ask: What's wrong with you???? I answer: "Oh, nothing, I'm just thinking of Claire."


amb said...

crystal, i just found you!!! yay! you're so cute! i love love love your blog! it's darling-- just like YOU! i want to be Just like you when i grow up! pretty please!

and can i tell you that aaron and i were Cracking Up at eden's "deep thoughts"? so so funny! love you guys!

SLP said...

I can't believe it either. You're first picture of Claire is how I remember her is well, when Taylor and I were newlyweds. Time has flown by.
It's ok to cry and be emotional, you're a good Mom and that's what we do...

Rachel said...

Oh you are killing me with the music and these milestones - I am right there with you - they are growing up too fast. I am so glad they have each other and a good group of friends to go through high school together!

johnson family said...

I just found your blog through cjane...actually, i found your etsy store and oh my goodness, your jewelry......LOVE IT! putting your etsy shop on my christmas wish list...Anyway, I'm just getting ready to let a preschooler go off to school, and yet I feel some of those same emotions! Feeding him to the wolves! Why is this so hard?

Parkside View said...

I visited your etsy shop (upon cjane's recommendation) and got a little curious to sneak a glimpse into the life of the person who created such amazing jewelry. I loved reading this post; it was touching and felt so nostalgic. I really enjoy your writing style. Just thought you should know!

dude said...

Hi Crystal, This is Kelly, Lindseys husband. Would you have Matt email me or give me a call? I have a favor to ask. Thanks. or 801-830-9097

Jeanneoli said...

I laughed out loud over and over on the deep thoughts by Eden...hilarious!!!!

crystal b. said...

mother that picture of me in my uniform is the ugliest picture i have ever seen because of the fact i look like a have a granny tourist stomache. ---claire