Thursday, August 13, 2015

High school

There's no point in keeping a list of all that Steve has missed in the almost six years that he's been gone. As I've written before, and as I tell myself all the time, life continues.

I can't allow myself to dwell on what Cooper and Katie are missing in Steve's absence -- his humor, advice, stories, laughter. The presence and love and steady influence of their devoted father in the home.

Yet there are moments that Steve's absence is especially obvious to me. Today, for instance -- freshman orientation for Cooper at the brand-new high school less than a mile from our home.

Can you imagine how proud Steve would have been to walk into the building with his charming, handsome, 6-foot-2 son? How tickled he would have been to walk into the band hall or to hunt down Cooper's locker in the C Hall?

Cooper at Reedy High School
I would have loved to sit with Steve in the auditorium today, waiting for the parent meeting, marveling that it feels like about six months ago we were walking Cooper to Bledsoe Elementary for meet-the-teacher night for kindergarten.
Steve, baby Katie, Cooper and Tyra, walking to Bledsoe, August 2006  
Cooper at meet-the-teacher night, kindergarten, August 2006
(I did have the pleasure of sitting with two dear friends, Shannon and Kelly, veteran high school moms who always encourage me with their down-to-earth advice and genuine kindness.)

Tyra, Shannon and Kelly at today's parent meeting
Every single high school parent I know has warned me that the next four years will speed by. (More so than the past 14 years? Good gracious.) I don't want to wish away a moment -- even the rough days. Steve's absence reminds me daily of the importance of being present, of being thankful for each day, of the privilege of shepherding Cooper and Katie through childhood.

We've got four years of special moments ahead -- marching at football games, cross country meets, dances, dates, science projects, graduation. Then Katie will start the cycle all over again.

Life continues.
Katie, Tyra and Cooper, August 2015

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