I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
May 28, 2021
Our youngest has always been easy. He’s a natural self-starter and sailed through elementary and middle school rarely needing help or reminders from us, which is good because after 20 years of parenting, you get… well… TIRED. Even better, he’s managed to make it this far without losing his agreeable disposition. Although I had braced myself for moodiness and attitude and all the things that come with the onset of the teen years, at 14 the kid is still a total joy to be around.
But lately, changes have been happening. He had a recent growth spurt and now towers over the rest of us. His voice has gotten deeper. And he has a new group of friends who are smart and artsy and confident — the kind of kids I would have wanted to be friends with at his age. There’s no denying that our Last One is growing up and so this week as he finishes up middle school, I’ve been a little emotional.
I thought his eighth grade graduation would be the thing that made me lose it. Instead, the moment came yesterday morning. As he and my husband were preparing to leave, Dennis announced, “Jack has decided this will be the last day he does his goodbye.”
“I’ll still wave to you next year, Mom, don’t worry,” my son reassured me. “I’m just not going to shout anymore.”
I was speechless. Since kindergarten, Jack has shouted a goodbye from the car every morning that includes me, our dog, Dottie, and our frog, Jason Funderburker (don’t ask). The boy loves tradition, and this particular one has gone on now for nine years. NINE. YEARS.
And just like that, it was ending.
I stammered out a goodbye, gave him a hug as he walked out the door, and waved as he yelled goodbye from the car, just like I always do. And then he was gone. And that was it. It was over. No more goodbyes.
Compared to that, eighth grade graduation last night was a breeze.
I’m really excited about our son’s future. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for him. But all of his last-ever moments as a kid are also our last-ever moments as parents. And sometimes? It hurts a little.