It’s the weekend before turning in Freshman Class Schedule for our son, Luke. Parent Orientation was a few days ago.
My firstborn is going to HIGH SCHOOL. Crazy soon.
How could that be??? I still remember everything about high school. More than I even want to remember. I can time travel back in an instant when I listen to my beloved 80’s music. I remember my first real kiss on the dance floor of Los Alamitos High School with so-and-so. My puppy love relationship with another so-and-so guy. The English classes that I savored. The drill team performances. My big-haired besties then, who are still my BFF’s today.
And Luke is about to begin all this. He’s my witty son who now proudly towers over me, at five feet 11 inches. And although he’s big and all teenager-y, I still get hugs and smiles, and emojis. Nice ones.
I am telling myself now, before he begins the next 4 years that will blitz by insanely fast, that I will not drink the Kool-Aid of fear and anxiety in parenting a high schooler.
I will not live on pins and needles as we go through the modern college admissions process.
Right before we began our kitchen remodel and addition last Fall, my wise husband said to me, “We are not going to complain about this remodel. We are lucky we get to do this. It’s our choice. We will not whine through the process.”
It completely set the tone. It was not a stressful, hateful process. Really. The most difficult part was when Ryan came undone at the end (which you can read about here). Was it hard for me to feel discombobulated and messy? Yes, and yes. Did we enjoy breathing in the fine white dust? Was it hard to buy take-out and prepared foods instead of cooking? NO. Whatever, we were getting a new kitchen people.
As we begin the high school journey with Luke, this is what I am telling myself:
- I will find joy in my teenager, no matter what phases he goes through.
- I will pray for him. A lot. And his friends. A lot.
- I will learn to let go, resist micromanagement, and embrace a healthy detachment.
- I will guide him and try not to overprotect him from every bump, mistake, or failure.
- I will expect him to mess up, “sin,” and blow it, and will offer him love, grace, correction, and discipline.
- I will not expect perfection in any area of his life.
- I will practice gratitude.
- I will not allow the local parent chatter to give me anxiety or cause me to compare or compete or worry what he is not involved in that “looks good on his transcripts.”
- I will not over-schedule and over-stress my child.
- I will encourage out-of-the-box experiences.
- I will remember there is a college for everyone. (Thank you Lori McGlone of Tractus Insight, who is educating me on the college admissions process.)
And finally, I will remember that just like childbirth is painful, Luke will be going through his own rebirth. Pain, sweat, tears, and blood will be mandatory.
His and mine.
Books I’m reading:
- Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.
- Teen-Proofing by John Rosemond, Ph.D.
- The Blessing of a B Minus: Using Jewish Traditions to Raise Resilient Teenagers by Wendy Mogel, Ph.D.