I think I may echo what the other high school seniors are thinking when I say: “This year sucks.”
I also hope that I’m allowed to say that in the paper.
I count myself lucky to have visited with a number of seniors (via phone or email) in Crawford County in a little snippet about their lives. One common thread: No one is really enjoying this, but each recognizes the importance of social distancing.
Living with a high school senior I also get to see this every day.
It’s tough and I hate it for them. These kids are going to be amazing adults. They have grown up during times in which adults make bad decisions on a regular basis and keep screwing things up for them, and yet they remain positive and hopeful.
I think the reason I have maintained some hope and a positive outlook is because I’m seeing the world through her and the Oldest’s eyes.
I see that we’re going to be okay.
What I’m not really okay about is that my Youngest has basically graduated high school this year.
However, there’s no fanfare. No celebration.
It’s tough and I hate it for them.
One of the upsides is that I’m now emotionally invested in the relationship between Jess and Nick (from “New Girl”). I probably never would have ventured into that program on my own, but with Lynnlee (the Youngest), I’m glad I did. We have had a lot of laughs together in the past few months. Laughs I’m sure we both needed.
Lynnlee is different from her sister. Kelley would go to games with me. Lynnlee would go on occasion (like once or twice a year and then go find her friends to sit with). She would much rather be at home with her dogs, books, and whatever show she happens to be binge watching at that particular time.
We did share our fondness for books (and comic books), pop culture movies, and 80s music.
She wasn’t good a lying when she was younger. One day Lynnlee came strolling through the den. Her face was covered in food.
Me: Have you been in the chocolate again?
I scrape some of the chocolate off her face with a finger and hold it up for her to see.
Me: Then what is this?
Lynnlee: (sheepishly) Chocolate.
Oreo cookies are her weakness. The same scene will play out every time we bring in a new bag of Oreos. Someone will make the comment on how few are left in the package.
Lynnlee would exclaim it wasn’t her who had eaten most of the cookies.
Between the Oldest, the Wife, and myself we can account for how many we have eaten on one hand each and maybe a finger or two of the other hand. At the final tally, it was Lynnlee who had eaten 60 to 75 percent of the Oreo cookies.
It got so bad at one point, I would hide a package in the kitchen and just give them to her as needed. We don’t seem to have that issue much anymore. However, for her college and future roommates, don’t buy Oreo cookies unless you’re planning to give most of them to Lynnlee.
She also suffers from food amnesia. Not sure if that’s a real thing, but there has been a number of occasions Lynnlee would forget she had eaten a specific type of food.
Her mother would prepare a meal.
Lynnlee: I don’t like this.
Me: You’ve eaten it before and liked it.
Me: Just a couple of weeks ago. Try a bite.
Me: You’re not getting anything else. Just try one bite and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat the rest.
This will go back and forth for about 10 to 15 minutes. The rest of us are almost done and she hasn’t even started.
Finally, Lynnlee would relent and take a small bite.
Lynnlee: This is pretty good. Though it might taste better if it was warmer.
I’m kind of jealous. I would love to be able to experience some foods for the first time again.
There are a lot of good memories for the past two years as she was the only one in the house most of the time with big sister off to college or off to the Disney College Program.
I took the time to introduce her to the movies I grew up watching and which still have an impact on me.
She got to see what I think are really great movies.
She has my fondness for reading books and has started quite a collection already. There are some books I want her to read, but they’re just too good and may diminish the impact of what she likes now. SO, I’m okay with her waiting until later to read those books.
Technically, I would have been an empty nester at the start of the fall semester, but I got lucky. My Oldest has moved back home and will finish up school locally.
We’ll get to make some new memories of just the three of us hanging out during the week.
This will be a new chapter. I’ll miss not having Lynnlee around on a daily basis, but she’s always a text or a call away. I’m sure we’ll text each other about what crazy or cool thing we’ve stumbled across.
Best of luck, kiddo. May the best of your past be the worst of your future.