The other night I traversed the halls of Hickory High School at my last open house for I suppose a long while. Four for Katie and four for Mary Ellen. I missed last year since I was in California, but Mary Ellen started at the high school in eighth grade on the third floor.
The fluorescent lights flood the hallways. The windows blackened give a different look than a daytime learning experience. The parents sit in the desks as the teacher explains the class. One teacher is so nervous, she writes her name on her notes, in case she forgets. Yet, her voice emotes calmness and I can see why she is my girls' favorite teacher.
This year, I spend most of the time on the art hall. I climb no stairs and I'm not lost. I didn't venture to the cafeteria for cookies. I introduce myself to the guidance counselor during a study hall and lunch period. I hear great things about my daughter. I have no concerns. She is a hard worker most of the time. She knows how to act in public.
Senior year, especially for my last child, creates a bittersweet feeling. I worked for my children to be independent. My philosophy is to raise adults. They all say how mature Mary Ellen is. But I want to be more involved in the school. I want to chaperone the field trip for orchestra. I desire to help with the musical this year. I dream of mentoring young writers at the school. I want to be available. Maybe, I'm not ready to let her go, yet.
I'm comfortable in these halls, now. I don't feel animosity. I hug teachers. I love the school and the many opportunities for my children. Contentment fills me that we chose to live in Hermitage, a small city with great horizons.