Senior Pictures: Our Life Full Circle
Taking my Teenager to his Senior Pictures shoot yesterday, I had an overwhelming feeling as if our lives together had come full circle. The day I found out I was pregnant I was a Senior in High School. I was 3 months away from graduation and scared out of my mind. I knew that from that moment forward my life would be different. I wasn't going to be just a Teenager anymore. That freedom and seemingly carefree life was never going to be the same anymore. I was going to be someone's mother. I was 17 and knew that the odds were against me but I was determined to beat those odds. When I found out, my grandmother sat me down and told me she was going to be there for me no matter what. She assured me that I could do this. I could not only finish High School but I could go to college, as planned, finish and still be the mother I wanted to be. Guess what? I believed her. So that's exactly what I set out to do.
I was almost 3 weeks pregnant when I'd taken my Senior Pictures. I got ready and smiled pretty for the camera the entire time fighting the overwhelming nausea and feeling of dizziness that seemed to take up my entire day lately. Whew! I made it. I took the pretty formal shots with my black satin top with the dip in front. I felt so fancy. Senior pictures were a big deal. They were a milestone in a teenager's life. That point where senior year became real. That day, I knew something was going on with my body but was in denial as to what it may be. I went home knowing that eventually I would have to face the reality that I may be pregnant. When my suspicions were confirmed, my grandmother stood by my side. She was there every step of the way and I actually made it through the rest of the school year. June came and I made it down that aisle with honors! I had my precious baby boy in the fall and started college that winter. I was doing it. I was a mother and a woman and I was doing them both to the fullest...
As a Teenage mother, I faced a lot of challenges and setbacks. I went to my first college interview 8 1/2 months pregnant (and I was huge to say the least) and although the admissions officer presented herself as being sympathetic and supportive all I felt were eyes of judgment from around the office. Then when they reviewed my academic records and saw my 3.8 GPA they realized the fact that I had the grades needed to be there the attitudes changed. I was even able to secure a job within the Admissions Office for when I started. (This is one of those moments I would call #828Blessings... "All things work together for the good... Romans 8:28) Once in school, I excelled simply because I worked myself ragged. It was as if I had something to prove to my baby. I wanted him to know that I wasn't going to let him down no matter what. I went to a part time job as a Paralegal Intern from 8am -10am; then to classes from 10:30 to 2pm. I would go home and feed him (I pumped at night for my grandmother to feed him while I was in class) and then go back to class for evening schedule from 6pm-9pm. My schedule would vary between day and evening classes to accommodate my job but I managed it and graduated in 1998 with my Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies and left with a full-time position as a Paralegal for a Law Firm. My motivation for all of it was my baby boy. I felt if I could just excel and achieve my goals for him then I could be the example he needed to do the same.
Now nearly 17 years later, I was standing in a photography studio with that same baby boy watching him get ready to take his Senior Pictures. I can hardly believe it. My life has come nearly full circle. How can this boy who I cradled in my arms and prayed over nearly everyday singing to him how I would never leave him be getting ready to leave me to go to college? Is this really happening? Are we really at this point? Yes. It was all worth it. I didn't do everything right. I made mistakes. I made some bad choices and no I wasn't always the perfect Mother, but who ever is? I was the best Mother I could be and I loved him more than my life. I gave him all of me at all times and I tried to make sure I raised him with the a foundation build on Christian values and the belief that if you serve God and seek His face His favor will follow you.