Saturday, August 13, 2011

Back to School...

We toured Brendan's new high school the other day.

We talked to various groups and debated about which ones Brendan might be interested in joining (none) and which ones his mother would be THRILLED to see him get into (golf, teen court, band) and which ones, in the name of future popularity, that he should probably pass over (chess club, FFA).

My high school student. Good Lord.

So...then we went into the gym...and oh my goodness. The smell of that gym brought back, in one instant, all the desperation and ecstasy and hope and PROMISE of high school. I remembered pep rallies and games and Prancer practices. The things that REALLY mattered back then. Cute boys. Mean girls. College applications. ACT scores. Prom.

It is hard for me to believe that my own kids are now living through those same experiences. And it made me wonder - have I prepared them? Have the lessons I have tried to teach, by being an example of what to do - and probably more often what NOT to do - been enough to keep them on the straight and narrow?

I was hardly an angel in high school, but comparatively speaking, I was a pretty good kid. I only had a couple of boyfriends. Never made it past first base until I was out of high school and engaged. Never snuck out, only drank once, and it was under my parent's...semi-supervision. Never tried drugs. And the biggest reason, I think, that I didn't do any of those things wasn't because I was afraid of my parents or of how it might affect my future. I probably could have found the popularity I so desperately wanted if I had gone to parties and screwed around with boys. But I didn't, and the reason I think is because I am such a control freak that I didn't want to let any substance, or urges driven by hormones, dictate my actions.

I realize that this makes me an oddball. I have come to terms with that.

The truth is, though, that none of us has it figured out, in spite of the fact that we all know people who seem to have done. We are all struggling, and growing, and learning as we go. We should forgive each other for that.

So as I send my kids off to high school, I will trust that I have taught them enough, and what I haven't taught yet, I am learning right along with them. We'll figure it out together.

With G'n'R, Metallica, and Def Leppard as our background music. Because that's one thing I have taught them. Good music.

OH. And great shoes. Because these are my kids we're talking about, after all.

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