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!