You know how you’re going along in life doing the parenting thing, your kids are tiny and easily controlled, then one day you set your little one down and they crawl away from you? It’s a little bit of a shock but even as they find a some independence, they always come back to you. You are MOM – they are always aware of where you are and seek you out. Their world expands just a little but you are still at the center.
Then they hit kindergarten and you have a little less input into their days. They come home mouthy because that’s how they heard their friend talk to her mom. But still, you can help in the classroom and get to know their friends and teachers. You’re still very involved. They want you to walk them to their lines in the morning. You get to kiss and hug them as you say good-bye - even in front of their friends.
It changes a bit as they travel through elementary school but you are still involved. My 5th grader won’t call me to bring in forgotten homework because her teacher has a rule that if she does, she has to kiss and hug me in the classroom. She’d rather take the zero. It cracks me up even though she used to be my cuddly one. I’m half tempted to hide her homework so she has to call. She still smiles when she sees me in the hall though so I take that as a good sign.
Elementary is cake, then middle school comes along and you’re no longer welcome in the classroom. Forget any sort of long good-bye when you drop them off. I was told by the principal at the parent open house for 6th grade that close to 90% of the students go through puberty in those 3 years. School is a hormonal cesspool best avoided!
I’ve been through all that with my oldest and am happy to say we’ve survived it so far. But…..tonight we have the first HIGH SCHOOL open house. Holy Mother of God, I’m going to be the parent of a high school student!!
This is a new phase for both of us and I think I’m more nervous than she is. I’m excited for me because I wasn’t sure I’d still be here for her at this point. I’m excited for her because I know she’s more than ready to brave this next step.
But, I also remember all too well what it’s like to be in high school. Those weren’t my favorite years. I sure hope it’s easier on this side of the equation but I suspect it won’t be! I hope it’s easier for her than it was for me. I think it will be.
She has a security in herself that I never had. She knows who she is better than I did. I’m proud of her, nervous for her, excited for her and more than a little scared shitless for me.
She’s still my baby dammit, even if she is almost as tall as I am.