The 2018-2019 school year is a big year of “lasts” for the Ratterman household. This is the last year all six of us will be under the same roof. And while it’s a little bittersweet, I’m both soaking up all the memories and preparing myself for the excitement of what’s to come.
Jack is a senior this year and next year is a new chapter for all of us. As parents, Jeff and I have prepared for this; it’s inevitable that we raise our children so they are ready to go off on their own. I’m not sad, but I know life will be different.
The fact that it’s college application time is just a bigger reminder that life is changing. Jack already knows he’s going to play soccer at Northwestern, so there’s not a lot of stress around meeting deadlines and filling out forms. Athletic applications were due a few weeks ago and signing day is in February. We’re all well prepared for that.
One thing about being part of a sports family is the unpredictability of it all. Next school year, Jack is at the mercy of Northwestern’s soccer schedule, not the school’s calendar. The soccer season starts in August, school starts in September and he’ll play a spring season too. That’s nearly year-round soccer and we have no idea what that will look like yet.
This year, we’ll enjoy our last Thanksgiving with all six of us (soccer schedule notwithstanding) and we’re taking a trip to Europe over the winter break. Of course, the dog ate Jeff’s passport, so we’re scrambling to replace it before we leave.
Then it’s graduation cap and gowns, yearbook farewell ads, prom and graduation. We’re staying on top of the Big 10 soccer games since one of Jack’s friends is already playing at Northwestern. After that, we’ll make as many games as we can and use Facetime to keep in touch.
The other kids can feel the shift already, but more from excitement than from knowing that real change is on the way. Charlie will get Jack’s car and the argument ensues over who will get Jack’s bedroom.
While we’ll miss Jack, Jeff and I love watching our kids grow up into responsible, fun young adults. We can’t wait to see what Jack accomplishes in life. We know it will be big!