Today I register my oldest for his first year of high-school. There is something about it that makes me feel like I’m signing him off into the first steps of adulthood. He’s grown so much mentally, physically (he’s 6’1′!) and emotionally through the last few years of middle school that I know he’s ready, but sometimes I don’t feel like I am.
High-school is almost like another planet. Almost none of my family has succeeded in making it through those four years without cracking. Between the difficulties in education (or lack thereof) to the social dysfunctions of teenagers, I’m surprised anyone actually makes it through without coming out mentally unstable. I’m really thankful that this high-school is a top school in Missouri with honors. I’m grateful that I get to have it nearby so he can walk to school and his friends can come over after, but it’s never the actual foundation of something that is the problem, it’s always the people.
You know that feeling that you get when you send your child off to Kindergarten or Pre-school for the first time (which I will be re-going through that again soon as well)? It’s similar to that. You hold their hand until the bus arrives or until they walk solely into the classroom and you feel this tug as if you want to draw them back, that you are having to let go too far and there is this fear that the link between you will snap and you’ll be suspended in some purgatory waiting for them to return so you can feel whole again. Or, that could just be me. He’s getting too big for me too fast and I’m missing him before he’s already gone.
He’s not here with me to go through the process of registering him for high-school. He’s still off enjoying the summer in Colorado. I hope I do my best picking the classes he might want and getting things ready for him while he’s gone and maybe it’s good that he won’t see me here completely sad and musing over his entry into adulthood as a depressing moment. Though, I wish I could tell him that I wish he was here. I wish I could hold his hand as I held it on his way to his first day of school so I could feel a little more secure that this line isn’t going to break.
My greatest hope in all of this is that with friendships he’s made, the lack of bullying from the last year of school and with his grown maturity that he will succeed. That he’ll persevere through the insanity that high-school is and come out better for it. And with that hope I sign him off and away to his Freshman year.
… and I miss him.