Highschool...Really? I think I just graduated.

Our oldest starts High School this fall. This can't be right but I am looking at a 9th Grade Registration booklet on my desk so it appears to be the real deal.

Tonight sitting in a High School for Jr, I felt that pressure of classes and choices as if they were my own choices. I thought about the process of time and identity and how the kids choices mean more to me now than my own.

What does Jr care most about right now? I would guess he would say basketball, girls, computers and girls. Choices about English 9 or English AP and electives, and how to connect what he does now with his future are as much in my court as his. Part of my job now is to be an advocate, to learn the system to help him make these choices.

He was sweet and easy in tonight's orientation. Some of his friends sat by us, and a good friend of mine with her daughter. As my other daughters and sons enter, they'll think about high school really differently. Our conversations, how we as parents need to support the kids, will be child specific for sure.

This feels profound, being a mother of a 14 year old, a totally new phase of both parenting and self perspective. He talked about being able to take classes that counted for college credits, not because of ambition but because of "getting it done."  He hugged me on the way out, rubbed my back when I said I was worried about the kids at home and joked that I could choose his classes. It hit me how grateful I was for this kid who loves me so much. Regardless of the challenges the next four years of navigating high school bring, I am game to figure it out.

James ~ Kindergarden


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