This is not what you think it’s about. Or maybe it is. My oldest son is going to be 15 tomorrow. FIFTEEN! This is very traumatic for me. Since my birthday boy took the kindergarten “victory lap”, I’ve been spared for a year, but next year he and 16-month-younger sis will be going to….deep breath…high school. I’m not sure I’m ready for it.
And yet, I’ve been looking forward to it for so long.
One reason I loved teaching high school students (aside from not having the patience and I’m too sarcastic for the younger ones) is that it is one of the most exciting times of their lives. Or it can be. True, some of the biggest drama happens then, but it’s often where you discover your true friends and you learn what you’re talents are. That was when I really improved as a baton twirler. Don’t laugh. I got scholarship money for being able to do 4-turns, high toss cartwheels, and continuous elbow rolls. It was that place where those nerdy seventh grade boys lost the braces, got contacts, and somewhere along the way turned into a calculus hottie. And college acceptance letters brought hopes and dreams for the next step of your life, not to mention the perfect excuse to escape your “boring” hometown. (Which I will admit to spending a good decade trying to get back to. I had to leave home to appreciate it.)
My son and daughter will be going to different schools next year as one got into a magnet school and the other one didn’t. As much as I dread running between two high schools, I realize this might be one of those blessings in disguise. The two of them have been at the same school since kindergarten. My son, who is mildly autistic, probably won’t go to the same college as his sister, so perhaps this is preparation for that big separation for when they follow their own paths. He’ll be able to find his own way without feeling like he’s in his sister’s shadow. She’ll feel free to spread her wings without feeling like she needs to constantly look over her shoulder to keep an eye on her big brother. And yet, for as different as they are, they have this unbreakable bond of loyalty to each other.
So here I sit, at the edge of all this wonderfulness and drama waiting to happen, and part of me wants to dive in with them, but I know my place is to stay on the ledge, watching and waiting. Holding my breath. And occasionally throwing them a rope if they need help. Man, I hope I survive!
Gosh, that’s a lot to hold your breath about.
Like you, I had to leave my hometown to be able to fully appreciate it. At this point in my life, I look back at those 11 years in Covington LA as the best possible place on earth to have grown up.
As I recall it, our two kids were just enough years apart that the older had already graduated H.S. a few months before the younger began that same school.
When I entered H.S., however, my brother was a senior and it was nice to have him nearby.
When I was a senior, my younger sis had just entered high school. We weren’t the kind of siblings who were always together, but it was nice because the friend circle doubled when she got there. Now with mine going to different schools, I don’t see the “friend circle” getting divided up, but rather keeping them connected to friends at different schools. (My daughter’s best friend will be going to my son’s school.)
You’ll survive and thrive,Micki! You have an absolutely fantastic attitude and grasp of reality; a rare thing in a mother! [You usually either have the negligent ones who don’t care; the ‘Pollyanna’ ones who believe that all will always go well and their kids are perfect; the worrywarts who are gloom and doom; and the cripplers, who would make the sister stay in the same school to watch over her brother and and who would not allow the brother to extend himself).
I will wish the kids the best, but I think I am wasting a wish if I wish that for you.I have every confidence that, even if the road is a bit bumpy, all will do splendidly.
You are one great mom!
You are too kind, Tonette. But I believe I’ve got a little bit of all those other mothers in me too. Except maybe the crippler. Either way, I try to keep those other bits bound and gagged and stuffed at the back of my closet with all the ugly shoes. I might let “Pollyanna” out every once in a while, but if she gets too obnoxious, I have friends like Jillian who will gladly muzzle her. 🙂
Happy Birthday for your son today – tomorrow ?
I loved your post. My girl’s going to High School next year (though she’s only turning 12 😉 ) and I feel the same way. I like cuddling and protecting them, but at the same time let them fly and make mistakes and learn to live.
I’m sure you’ll be doing well, and so will your kids!
Yes,Happy Birthday to him! Iris, you hit on what I consider THE hardest part of parenting!Knowing when to be cuddly and/or involved and supportive and then trying to know(!) when to step back.Godspeed to all!
It’s now today, Jan. 31. Good luck to you too, Iris! Tonette’s right about the hard part of knowing when to cuddle and when to let them go. I guess that’s why we have that “mother’s intuition”. We can hug them, just not in front of their friends at school. Or clapping too loudly when they get an award. (Yep, I did that.)
LOL – I did that last year. My eldest girl won a art comp and I gave a little kiss on the cheek … IN FRONT OF THE SCHOOL (abt 180 kids) … LOL …. I vaguely remember it was late that night when she finally talked to me again. So on concert night it was announced she’ll be school captain this year. I nearly cried, but held back …. then she came and asked me whether I wasn’t happy. That was it, i think she had bruises afterwards from my hugs and kisses …. LOL.
Looking forward to new adventures for J. and D. And happy birthday to D.
Thanks, Jillian! Hopefully D. will be accepted into the same school some young Chantals attended. I will also pass along your birthday wishes to the dude. 🙂