Victor is going to miss these moments. Eventually.

This weekend was Hailey’s last high school performance and was also the very first time I ever saw them sing a solo on their stage. (This is one of the things they don’t warn you about when your kid gets accepted into a fine arts high school…your kid may get great training, but will also be competing against so many other incredibly talented kids.)

This was a showcase where each of the seniors picked one song themselves, rehearsed for a day and then did whatever they wanted on stage with live accompaniment. Hailey decided if this was going to be their only time in the spotlight they were going to do a full Marilyn Monroe homage from Smash and I literally cried.

The only problem is that Hailey’s assigned time to choose their college dorm was at 8:30pm, which was when the show was supposed to end and so Victor had brought his laptop so that they could have a chance to nab the room Hailey wanted as soon as Hailey was off the stage. Unfortunately the end time had been badly miscalculated so at 8:30 Victor crept to the very back of the theater so he could log in without bothering anyone but still listen to other numbers Hailey was in. The back half of the theater was empty but he was worried that the light shining on his face could be distracting for the kids so he crouched down on the floor underneath the chairs to log in just as he heard a girl on stage stop the orchestra in the middle of her song to yell, “HANG ON. STOP THE MUSIC. BRING UP THE LIGHTS. JUST WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE??” and then Victor may have peed himself a little as he slowly peeked over the tops of the chairs in horror, but turns out the singer was yelling at Hailey, who was now in the audience pretending to be an obnoxious theater-goer taking flash photos and the singer did a full Patti LuPone meltdown which was an ENORMOUS hit with every musical theater person in the audience who got the obscure reference, and possibly a little confusing for everyone else who didn’t understand what was happening until the singer said, “Let’s start this again” and pulled off her previously plain dress to reveal a flashy sequinned number and killed it.

And Hailey got the dorm they wanted.

Everyone wins.

PS. I know a lot of you may be in the process of helping your kid decide whether they want to try out for a specific charter high school and I have a lot of advice to share after Hailey is done because maybe you can learn from our experience, which was (like most high schools, I suppose) both very good and very bad. Lots of things I wish we’d known before. And speaking of advice, the advice I’m getting on this post about what I should do prepare Hailey (and me) for college has been incredibly helpful (even the stuff that is sort of breaking my heart a little) so please keep it coming. And if you have a kid about to enter college, take a look because it’s thoughts from kids in college and parents who’ve been there and it’s really eye-opening. Thank you for being my village, y’all.

80 thoughts on “Victor is going to miss these moments. Eventually.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. My son had his last high school stage performance last night. I may have ugly cried on the way home. He shines so bright on stage. I’m going to miss watching him perform.

  2. My son is hopefully going to college in September. Very different process in Ireland — but I have the same bittersweet feelings of being so excited and terrified for them at the same time. Best of luck!

  3. My kid is about to start junior year and I have lost count of how many times I have registered for them for classes and dorm rooms. Victor is not done yet!

  4. She totally smashed it!! WTG Hailey!! Also you have raised an incredible human being so you have totally smashed it as a mama. No matter how old she gets she will always love and need her mama so don’t fret so much. Looking forward to seeing the great things she will do as she ventures into this new phase in her life and you do too!

  5. 😍😍😍😍😍😍 That video made me cry happy tears!🤩

  6. My parrot liked Hailey solo so much she had to sing along! Lol!

  7. Fabulous! I love her sass, her stage presence, and that voice…WOW! Congratulations to all of you! And Jenny…well done, Mama. 🙂

  8. My middle is graduating next Friday and will also be at Texas State in the fall. Her room assignment time was 7pm last night and she and her roommate didn’t get the kind of room they wanted, but they did get Sayer Hall so they were pleased. 🤷🏻‍♀️ It is weird for her to be leaving our house and going so far away (4 hours), since our oldest went down the road to Angelo State, and we see her several times a week. We will miss having her in our house – she’s our sunshine.

  9. Hailey was fantastic in their performance! Congratulations!
    And congratulations to you, Jenny, and Victor for raising a successful old baby/new adult.

  10. My word, Jenny, they’re AMAZING. (I mean, we already knew they’re amazing, but damn, ONE MORE THING to add to the list of spectacular). I have this dual image of them in my head most of the time: whatever age they are now, and the adorable little toddler I first saw. Congratulations, Mama. Y’all have done good. <3

  11. I think I just tinkled a little bit too! My folks dumped me at college (UCSB) and that was the last time they ever came. Not even for graduation. I think I just tinkled a little bit again. Hailey is a lucky, cool kid.

  12. Love their song choice, their dress, and all of it. So much confidence!

  13. That’s the most amazing dress I’ve ever seen, and they looked gorgeous in it! Jenny, I know it’s a little off-topic, but there must be a story that goes along with that dress, and it certainly has a happy ending!

  14. Oh Hailey!!! Marvelous performance, and your facial expressions were just darling; channeling MM perfectly. P.S. Victor deserves an award too. Well…every one of you deserves accolades!

  15. Such talent and what a wonderful dress! Hailey is going to kill it
    at art/drama school!

  16. Wow! They have a fantastic voice and commanding stage presence!

  17. Thanks for sharing Hailey’s performance. They are stunning (vision and voice)!

  18. Hailey was fantastic and their dress looked great on them. Thanks always for sharing your family and your life with us.

  19. PHWOAR. 🤩🤩🤩
    This brought a much needed smile to my face.

  20. Looking forward to your advice on the school choice. We are down the road at castle hills elementary (twin 1st graders). I had no idea choice was a thing until we got to CHE. We are one of the few families zoned to the school and not there by choice, so I’m learning a lot from other parents about the options that will come in the next few years.
    This wasn’t really a thing when we were in school!!!

    (My twin sister was a year behind you at Angelo state but I went to Trinity … That was the first but choices we had to make in regards to schools)

  21. The dress! The voice! The delivery! The stage presence! Bravo! AND Brava! (And yay for dedicated Dad too!)

  22. That voice! What a gift! But the confidence and stage presence is a tribute to the wonderful parents they have. So much for you all ti be proud of! Take a bow!!

  23. Fantastic performance by Hailey (and Victor, too! ;). Hailey looked stunning and their voice and mannerisms were perfect. Good luck to them on their new adventure.

  24. Hailey is a treasure. What a voice, and what a stage presence!

    Even without their performing arts talent, they would still be an absolute star, because they were raised by parents who taught them to embrace curiosity, humor, kindness, love, generosity, and joy.

    You and Victor must be so proud of the little one you raised and of the marvelous grown-up they are becoming.

  25. My kiddo is also in an audition only art school for theatre! She is a junior, rising senior! Congrats to Hailey, double! It IS a bunch of serious talent! I know she shined! Mine just did “Whipped into Shape”, from “Legally Blonde”, and brought down the house at a cabaret! It’s fun being a theatre mom! Tell Victor to hang in there!

  26. What amazing talent! Obviously she got all the right/best genes available!

  27. Wow! Well done to all of you! I can’t wait to see what they decide to do in the future. No matter what it is, their family here will be cheering them on! Congratulations Hailey! Can’t believe this is the same little kid I’ve seen in past posts.

  28. I understand literally crying when you see something like that. My son is on the Autism spectrum. When you hear something like that, you just pray for the best possible life for your child. Near the end of his sophomore in high school, the teacher who directed the school musical heard him standing at his locker just singing. She told him to audition for Grease the following year. He got the role of Teen Angel. Thankfully we got video of his performance because I was crying too much to really watch it. (Wish I could share it here!)

  29. Take a bow, parents, Lawsons & family. That former child is ready-for-the-world.
    Though I’m positive you’ve got an 11-year-old in Halloween costume, still around, somewhere.

  30. They look simply radiant (and very much like you!!) Wonderful performance, excited to see what’s next in their bright future <3

  31. Her song was wonderful. She has a great voice. And I loved the art deco dress.

  32. I’m sorry. I used the wrong pronouns in my reply. I didn’t mean to do that,

  33. My oldest graduates from high school in 2 days. Which is why I’m up at 3 in the morning doom scrolling. I’ve got a high school junior and a freshman right behind them. It’s terrifying, and I’m trying to change my mindset to how exciting it is for them, but really, I’m just in disbelief that we’re already here. I feel your posts one thousand percent!

  34. I’m sure the non 80s theater kids who are now adults in the audience were VERY confused.
    Patti Lupone is the queen of Broadway and you can’t convince me otherwise.

  35. The Patti Lupone take would have slayed me. I hope y’all have watched Prom (it is on Netflix) where Meryl Streep does a full on Lupone.

  36. If it really was the first time that glorious voice had a solo, then I have to assume the other performer you mentioned was ACTUALLY Patti LuPone because Hailey is AMAZINGLY talented. Wow wow wow!!!!!

  37. Its not Bravo, or Brava. We need the term for ovation for “they”. What’s it gonna be Hailey? You decide, and have your mom make a shirt to inform people, because you are going to be hearing it for a long time to come. Break a Leg!

  38. Haliey’s performance was so wonderful! I am happy that Victor was successful in getting the dorm that they wanted also.
    One of my kids went to the Gifted and Talented HS in Houston, and the other two went to the Performing and Visual Arts HS (for art and dance), so I understand what you mean about having good and bad things about these wonderful (mostly) schools. I’m also happy to share thoughts about them!

  39. My neighbor’s sister makes $95 a shift. He’s been out of work for six months, at least a few months ago his share was $30,000, actually q1 at the computer for two or three hours. Go to this page and read more…….. .
    Now click here and open ->

  40. Hailey is absolutely amazing. I cannot imagine that there are more talented performers than them.

  41. WOW!! That kid is TALENTED! You and Victor should be so proud of them. Jenny, you’ve obviously done a great job raising them to be their own person. Kudos to all of you – such a talented family! ❤️

  42. I have watched Hailey grow up and I feel so excited for them upon this life milestone. You have every right to be so proud of them. They have grown up into a beautiful, remarkable, talented person. Well done Jenny and Victor. You are doing an amazing job.

  43. Wow, you’ve got style and sass, Hailey! Broadway, here you come. Any chance of posting videos of the other performances you were in? Including the irritating audience member taking flash photos? Wishing you a fantastic journey in college.

  44. My son is in the middle of his Master’s so big tip, have your student’s check out the Rate My Professor’s website where the students rate their professors. My son said it is about 95% accurate. If there are recent bad reviews, read beyond them; there
    may have been a ruff test and the students aren’t happy. Just a tip, it’s nation wide.

  45. WOW! Hailey looked so stunning and grown up! Wonderful job and congrats on the new adventures. You’ll be grand – and Jenny, you will too. 😉

  46. One minor suggestion, having been through the mill myself. If at some point in Hayley’s adventures-to-come she decides to change directions, take a different course or courses, let her. She will have been there long enough to know what works and what falls flat for her.
    I started out thinking I wanted to be an elementary teacher, but one semester of trying to wrap my head around two dozen 7 year olds and the mind numbing courses offered, made me realize my first love was words, my second was art. When I brought this up at home I was told, ‘you chose what you wanted to do, and that’s what you’ll do”. End of discussion. End of my college ideals.

  47. Holy crap on a cracker. That dress, that voice, that figure. They are for sure going places and I cannot wait to see where.

    Gentle reminder folx: Hayley uses they/them pronouns, not she/her (regardless of how you may perceive their presentation in this video).

  48. That was a fantastic performance – congrats to Hailey! Regarding some college advice: make sure they are up-to-date on all their vaccines, including meningitis, and have a digital copy of their medical records. Make sure there is a durable power of medical advocacy on file and again – keep a digital copy on hand.
    College is expected to be tough so please let Hailey fight their own battles, don’t engage the professors unless there is a clear indication that something is amiss. I’ve been in higher education for a long time so believe me – there are some professors that are just butt-heads and like to set students up to fail but thankfully those are few and far between. Most truly want the students to succeed and while a class might be rigorous, students will survive and learn. Don’t hesitate to ask questions in class, even if they feel like it is stupid because I guarantee there are others who are too afraid to ask, and ask for tutoring or help when not grasping a topic. Expect to fail an exam or miss a class, that’s a part of the college life. Set aside time to study on a regular basis.
    Be nice to the support staff and admin workers – while it is their job to help, they get overwhelmed at times with requests from students and professors alike. Be respectful to everyone, say please and thank-you. Get to know the campus safety and security officers, they are there to help and keep you safe. Ask for an escort to walk across campus at night.
    Set a reasonable financial budget but allow for some “extras” on occasion. If possible, scope out the laundry situation ahead of time and lay in supplies and quarters as needed.
    Keep a light-weight jacket or hoodie on hand, classrooms can be cold. Keep a small package of tissues, hard candy, Tylenol, sinus medication and hand sanitizer on-hand in their purse or backpack. Expect to get sick at the beginning of the semesters, there are a lot of new germs floating around!
    Look into setting up a PO box in town – getting mail at school can be tough.
    Encourage them to take classes outside their major – you never know what else might light a spark for additional learning or job opportunities. Seek out a diverse group of people, some of them will go on to be life-long friends. Expect change and growth for Hailey, you, Victor and the extended family – none of you will be the same once school is over! There will be ups and downs so try to take everything in stride – it will work out in the end.
    Remember to take the time to breathe when things get hectic and you feel overwhelmed, eat some healthy food, stay hydrated, take your vitamins, sleep at least 6 hours a night and take some time out each week to have some fun. Ask a trusted friend for a hug – for comfort or celebration – and be willing to give one.
    Enjoy the journey – it will be over sooner than you could imagine!

  49. Jesus, what a talent they have! You’re so right about the drawback of being at an arts school. They very likely would have been a featured performer constantly at a traditional high school. Bravo and congratulations to Hailey!

    And that dress is ICONIC.

  50. So, I have always been very shy, did NOT want to go away to college…. My mom insisted, practically pushed me out of the car at the dorm curb and drove off. I found out later that she WAS home when I called repeatedly in the first six weeks, she just had my grandma lying for her!!! Best thing she ever did, though. I made friends and had the time of my life…

  51. Wow! Your daughter is fearless and talented! You may miss these years but the best is yet to come.

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  53. I’ve been reading along since 2008?9? When I was about 13 (yes I was a weird kid). You have always been my light in the dark regarding raising kids whilst also grappling with mental illness and myself, my husband, and my 3 beautiful children will be forever grateful for the hope and support your writings have given me over the years x and now look! Look at what an amazing job you’ve done! Much love!
    (I am sick so if this is incomprehensible please blame my head cold)

  54. The deadline for selecting a college dorm room was set for 8:30 p.m., when the event was scheduled to dordle conclude, Victor had taken his laptop with him to the venue in the hopes of getting the room Hailey desired as soon as she left the stage.

  55. They even made those belts at the end look effortless! Hailey’s a really great performer, wow! (Also agreeing with the ton of people that the dress is *gorgeous*!)

    So glad they got the dorm they wanted!! I didn’t even know you got to choose in some places. But yay!!!

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