The girls’ open house is tonight. They are so excited for Mark and I to go to each of their classes. Kendall has told me more than once not to lose the schedule she filled out for me. “Mom it has the room numbers for all of my classrooms. It’s very important.” I tell her I have her schedule and don’t plan to lose it. I’m laughing inside because while the middle school is new for my daughters it’s old ground for me. They know that both of their brothers attended the same school, and one of their brothers had the same teachers they now have. It’s new to them and that’s what matters. I’m feeding off of their excitement. I’m taking this opportunity to look at the open house and “their” middle school from the perspective of excited 6th graders’. My daughters have no need to expect less from their parents.
Thanks to you for all of the comments, compliments, which I sheepishly accept, and offers to come with me to the high school open house. I am fed emotionally by the support of my online community and neighborhood friends. All of you are gifts. Just knowing that I have such a strong, wide net of support is comforting. I do believe my online friend Claire, would travel here to go with me to the high school even though we’ve never met in person.
I’m not sure why I’m so haunted by the high school and the memories of Jordan that may pop out at any time. Jordan always loved “his” school. He like most teenagers was excited for the independence high school would bestow. Four quick years (and they do go by so fast) and then he’d be off to college. High school is the place where I witnessed the beginning of Jordan’s transformation from child to young adult. Having my oldest child start high school was symbolic for me as well. It was a new adventure for both of us. At the beginning of Jordan’s freshman year of high school, I wrote the following in my journal,
We’re turning a corner I’m not sure I’m ready to turn. Suddenly you’re pulling me along, eager to see what lies ahead. You’re not my little boy anymore. There are so many glimpses of the man you’ll become. The set of your jaw, the shape of your mouth and eyebrows, especially the bass that is pushing it’s way into your voice.
I can’t hold you back. I don’t want to. But your pace and mine have suddenly changed. You’re turning the corner and you still check in to see if I’m watching and following. But you had to let go of my hand to make the turn. I’ve got to let you explore and embrace this time, even if it means you’re not my little boy anymore. I’ll always be here for you, to support you and love you. Don’t forget to turn and wave.
The high school holds much symbolism, rewarding memories and reminders of the changes to come for my family and me. I have a son who is now a senior in high school and has college on the horizon. Just as I did with Jordan, I’ve got to let him explore and have his adventures. I’ve never been one to let my fears rule me for too long. Mark and I will attend the open house with the other parents tomorrow night. I may clutch his arm tighter than usual but my husband understands me, which is my blessing. I’m hoping this year will be easier than last; it certainly can’t get much worse! I’ll keep walking the grounds and the halls of the high school. By the time my daughters are freshman there it will feel so good to say, even if a bit wistfully, “My kids school.”