It is hard to believe, but today I escorted my first born to his grade 9 orientation. It is something I just haven’t been able to wrap my head around. I have a high-schooler, a “minor niner” as we called them back in the day.
I dropped the kid off in the gym with a few hundred other new students and made my way to the”parent cafe”. Here I would learn how great the school is and all the different programs and special events the school offers through out the year. I learned about an amazing art focused program the school has and wondered why my son hadn’t told me about it before (he is a very talented musician and visual artist). I quickly remembered that he didn’t tour the school with the rest of his grade 8 class because he never brought the trip form home for me to sign (typical!). During the school tour I kept looking at the pamphlet and started getting a little emotional. It made me think that today I am in a grade 9 parent information session but in a few short years I will be researching and touring colleges or universities with him. It seems so surreal that his life has gone by so quickly.
Ever since his grade 8 graduation I have been increasingly anxious for him to start high school. I don’t remember it being a very positive experience for me. There was a lot going on in my family life and I just really didn’t care about my grades and just barely scraped by. When I was 17 I dropped out of school and became pregnant with my oldest. I missed out on a lot of what makes high school so amazing. I was never encouraged to try out for teams or clubs and never really given much guidance to navigate through high school successfully. I have had a few conversations about high school over the summer with my son. Everything from making sure he is an active participant in his school (teams/clubs) to peer pressure and letting him know that girlfriends are not an important part of his school life. I try to give him just enough guidance without being a “nag” and I hope that he carries my words with him as he enters this new chapter of his life.
I want to see him be better than I was, and do better than I did. He has so much more potential than I ever did.. and I know he will do great things if he puts his mind to it.
For the record I kept my composure and didn’t cry today.. but I can’t guaruntee there won’t be a tear or two when I see him off next week.