Over the past few weeks, I’ve been seeing the graduation photos of kids moving out of elementary schools and into high school. I see the pride you have for your sons and daughters, the awards they held, the joy you felt.
And the sadness.
How did Grade 8 sneak up on me so fast, you think? Where did my baby go? Did I make the most of my years with him/her?
And now, high school.
So I’m going to give you the warning that nobody gave me.
Things are about to get really f*cking weird.
In your kids’ old school you probably knew all the teachers. You went to the report card interviews, maybe even brought in a bribery coffee and donuts.
Their friends? You’ve known some of them since kindergarten and watched them grow into teens.
Your kids are going to be nervous, excited, or both that first day of school. It’s new, different, and a little bit scary. You’ll be nervous too, but together you’re going to get through those first few weeks.
Then as the months move forward you’re one day going to come to the realization that you know nothing, the control you once had is gone. Your kids are naming the names of friends they hang out with at school and YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHO THEY ARE. It’s simply a list of names you have no connection with.
Helpful Hint: INVITE THOSE KIDS OVER TO YOUR HOUSE. Seriously, be the house that opens the door for everyone. Stock your fridge. Let them hang out.
If you don’t, your mental load is going to get heavy because you’ll hope and pray that all the lessons you taught them up until now have stuck and that they are making good decisions and surrounding themselves with good people.
So, you know, lighten the load and open your arms to these strangers who are now your child’s friends.
Trust me, on this. I know what it’s like when things get weird.
p.s. And the teachers? Well, even high school teachers like coffee and donuts.