A letter to my 2020 Senior

My sweet Rachel. You came into the world in August of 2002. What should have been the beginning of my senior year of high school was actually my first taste of motherhood. To say that we grew up together is a gross understatement. I went from being a teenager girl without a plan for her life to being the mother of a bald headed blonde baby doll. The moment I held you for the first the first time, it changed me. I realized that I had self worth. I saw that I had someone else to live for. I knew that as long as I had you, everything was going to be ok. And, somehow, I was right. We have made it through so many things throughout the course of your life. Some days I look back and cringe because I wish I could have given you something easier and more stable. A cookie cutter family with a white picket fence. No traveling back and forth on weekends. Just a normal life with no worries or conflict.

But, I have to remember this is just as much part of your story as it is mine. Being raised by a divided family for all those years likely taught you as much as it taught me. I just hope you know that you are loved by all of us, both sides of your family, and we are all rooting for you to succeed. You’ve grown from a blonde haired freckle faced kid that loves video games and art to this amazing young lady that is going to use art and technology to start your next chapter, as an auto body mechanic. (Seriously, I cant get over how bad ass of a career choice this is.)

I hate the fact that your senior year was ruined by this virus. I know you were looking forward to prom so much. And graduation! We should be watching you walk across the stage in a couple of weeks, but instead we are waiting and watching to see if there will be a formal graduation ceremony once our state opens back up. I hate the uncertainty that you are facing. I hate that you’ve applied to your tech school but don’t even know if school will be opening in fall. What kind of weird life is this now? When you tell your kids about this one day they will likely look at you like you have three heads. Be sure to tell them that we had to wear masks to the grocery store too. And that parks were closed. They will think you’ve lost your mind and maybe have you put in a nursing home.

In just a couple of weeks you will be wrapping up your senior year and you will be moving on to the next stage of your life. In all honesty, that kind of shares the hell out of me but also, I am so excited for you. I hope and pray that this stupid pandemic will remind you to take nothing for granted. Life is short and tomorrow isn’t promised.

Here are some things it’s helped me realize:

  • Don’t rush growing up. It’s really not that fun anyway.
  • Go to school for what you want to do and then if you hate it?! The world won’t end. Do something else. At least you’ll know.
  • Travel while you don’t have kids to worry about dragging along (or leaving behind with your mom).
  • Eat food that you love and don’t have to share with anyone… and while you still have a decent metabolism. But also eat some veggies sometimes too.
  • Decorate your house the way you want because you are the one that has to look at it every day. Trends go away and you’ll get sick of looking at your farmhouse decor while living in the middle of town.
  • Maybe develop some healthy habits like drinking water and exercising so that you won’t be forced to later in life when it’s a lot harder to make changes.
  • Find something you love to do and do it. It doesn’t have to be a side hustle or even related to your career. If playing video games makes you happy awesome, or painting, or reading or whatever… find what that thing is and make time for it every week. Don’t lose sight of who you are and what makes you happy in pursuit of paying the rent.
  • Your family is always here for you. Even if they are kind of annoying or a total mess sometimes, we love you and we are always your safe place. ❤️

I can’t wait to see you finally walk across that stage and celebrate your accomplishments. (Even if it’s just the 5 of us.) You have made me so damn proud. Corona may have messed up your senior year but I promise you, these are not the best years of your life anyway. They are just a step stone to take you where you need to go next…. and I can not wait to see what is waiting for you next.

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