There was laughter.
There was cheering.
I thought someone was gonna break out into a church praise dance!
Where was I, a concert? A pep rally?
Nope, I was at Senior Parent Night.
The class of 2014, or shall I say the parents of the class of 2014.
The place was wild. Hummingbird tagged along with me and kept giving me warning looks of "please stop screaming and clapping, you're embarrassing me!"
Hummingbird, my reminder that I am not at the finish line yet, like some of the other parents at the concert...er, the pep rally, no the Senior Parent Night. Oh well, I kept right on cheering. After all, this is a monumental stage of my life. Of course, the flashbacks have already started. Yogli has helped shape who I am as a person. During each of his stages of growing up, he wasn't the only one learning.
I should have known that I would be in for years of learning with Yogli because he entered the world on July 4th, 1996. 4th of July baby, the year and month the Olympics were held in Atlanta. I recall being driven through downtown Atlanta, seeing the flames of the Olympic torch. Who knew a few months from then, I would be a single parent. Yogli was proof that I could do it and do it well. For once, it wasn't just about me. There was someone else to consider. At this moment, I was taught strength and perseverance.
We spent Yogli's toddler years living with my parents. My mom became the babysitter and this happened at an opportune time in her life. Before Yogli was born, she had sunken into depression. Having a toddler around has a way of awakening one's spirit, among other things! While they bonded, I focused on working. When he turned 3, I embarked on a new journey of my career. During this time, I experienced so much favor from so many different people. The favor began to rub off on others around me. My mom got a job at Yogli's school, further awakening her spirit. This stage taught me to have no fear of the unknown.
There was a lot going on here. Change was all around us. Out on our own. Bought my first house. Stable career. New relationships. Learning how to integrate being a mom with being someone's wife. Learning how to have a husband learn how to be a father to a child not biologically his. Steady as she goes. Lesson here was "just keep swimming."
This stage opened with Yogli trying to adjust to a more structured learning environment. Here is where I learned the importance of being an active parent. My involvement had such a positive effect on Yogli. During this stage, my support system developed. I built relationships with people who would become influential in Yogli's life, helping me to, basically, raise him. It's amazing how those people became closer to me than my own family. This stage also brought both a new edition to the family and an exit a couple of years later. The latter part of this stage ushered in many emotions, wasn't sure I would make it. Lesson here was to strip everything down and start anew. Easier said than done.
Oh my! Way too much happening here. Loosing control, can't keep up. Emotions running high. So much fear. Middle school was a blur because we were in the rebuilding stage. Familiar territory for me and Yogli but now we had Hummingbird to consider. Yogli went into Protector mode. This stage still makes me emotional, so much happened here. During this stage, I learned that I was lost.
Discovery! Not just for me but for Yogli as well. He was branching out, hanging with friends, an all around teenage boy. During this stage, he learned that he could entrust me to MonkeyMan, no longer having to be my protector. Seeing him take responsibility for himself is a clue that I've done something right. There are only a few more months left in this stage, can't sum up the lesson learned here yet. Well, maybe partially. So far, I've learned to live and let go. I've learned that everyone makes mistakes, but few own up to them. I've learned that I can parent as well as have a life, to be a wife to a husband who is fathering two kids that are not his own, but who he treats as his own.
Yogli developed into a great kid that most parents would love to have. Grades have been an issue, but overall, it's been great having him as my kid.
So, you already know that I am gonna keep this concert, er...pep rally, Senior Parent year thing going, right? After all, we both are about to enter new territory yet again.