Editor's note: This article was originally published in the Sep/Oct 2012 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine. Learn more at www.HomeSchoolEnrichment.com

I thought maybe once I’d had it as an adult, I would be immune to the second exposure. But nope. I’ve got it again: senioritis. This round should be my last—this daughter is my last senior. I know, I know: she should be the one developing the itis, but she isn’t. Yet. Thank God. However, I’ve got a good solid case of it and it’s spreading through my soul like wildfire.

My daughter, the senior, is doing great: buckling down, chin up, heart melted before her True Love. It’s I who struggle. It’s struggle, I who do. Who, me? Struggle? Yes, both with grammar and with senioritis.

The adult strain of the condition is only a wee bit different from the high school variety. The hair color may have (ahem, may have?) changed, but the feelings are familiar. Once again, I am experiencing the vivacious thrill of the future along with the proverbially sluggish “Do we hafta finish?” On the one hand I’m ramping it up, and on the other hand I’m dragging my feet. No wonder I’m finding it difficult to walk out my planning calendar. I’ve got my foot in my hand! (Raising teens, I do find that’s better than in my mouth.)

I seem to notice the first symptom of senioritis (appropriately abbreviated SOS) in the spring of the junior year. SATism: the unequivocal desire to cram every available nook and cranny of my child-student’s brain with vocabulary words, grammar tips, and essay-writing techniques, simultaneously printing worksheets involving integers and intercepts while trying to convince myself the SAT is just a test, not a life commitment. We should prepare so well for marriage, yes?

The second symptom—following closely on the heels of SATism—is the antispur in my giddyup, aka the WE reflex. Not we, as in working together functioning as a unit—student and me. Not that kind of we. I mean WE, the acronym, as in WhatEver.

My firstborn taught me (reintroduced me to?) this handy phrase of teenage apathy, used most often in our home as a declaration of defeat when the mama proves correct; yet joyously (relievedly), it is never used with disrespect. Raising teens is a delight. Really, it is. Good for the humility bone. And the humorous one.

A fired-up, ready-to-roll homeschool parent, especially this time of the year, may be disgruntled with my temporary slump into WhatEver Land. However, I find whatever to be syllablical progress. Yes, I do feel pretty good about that, since my previous jaunt into the ambivalence of senioritis was punctuated by the simple one-vowel-one-consonant eh.

This is not to say that I have, during the high school years of I-need-Mom-more-than-ever-but-I-can’t-let-her-know, verbally expressed either form of ambivalence directly to my children (have I, kids?). But amidst months of completing curriculum goals and calculating and recording grades on transcripts, I admit I thought eh more than once, following up with the newly acquired whatever.

  • Eh, they don’t really need to finish (fill in the blank). Whatever.
  • Eh, what’s one missing form? Whatever.
  • Eh, what’s a small multitude of guessed-at grades? Whatever.
  • Eh, they don’t need the transcripts to look that professional. Whatever.

Thankfully, the third, though not necessarily final—and certainly thankfully not fatal—symptom of senioritis comes on the heels of the apathy of being almost done: an intense craving for the presence of God in prayer, in Bible study, and in general will-seeking. Oh yes, certainly for my children’s futures and for strength to overcome any eh-whatevers they may face. But also that I might go on to finish well myself, both the sprint to graduation’s finish line and the marathon to the Big Finish.