Parent Blog: Living with teens
By On the Cusp
Today is the first day of my son’s senior year at high school. Last night, in the flurry of finding the backpacks, sharpening pencils and trying to herd kids to bed at a decent hour, it seemed like an ordinary September evening, just like all the other years.
But today, I realized it’s the beginning of the end.
Each year since preschool, we’ve taken that first day of school picture of my son, standing against the giant oak tree in our front yard. Year after year, he has inched his way up against the trunk. The physical changes have come slowly. Baby teeth grins, then the missing front teeth. Braces. And now his gleaming white grin. Hair styles went from soft light brown hair, to buzz cuts, to the sideburns he now wears proudly. His body transformed from soft, scrawny and huggable child to someone taller and stronger than me. Year after year, these changes evolved so slowly. Until now, when I so desperately want to turn back the clock.
I blink and we’re back in grade school, walking down the street. He’s chattering away, happy to be spending time with me. And neither of us are on our phones. It’s quality time at its finest.
Over the years, school has gotten easier for me, and harder for him. In high school, there are no room parents or parent volunteers for the holiday parties or teacher gifts. I don’t have to feel guilty about missing field trips due to business trips. PTO’s are a thing of the past. The teachers don’t really want parents popping in and out of their classrooms. But for my son, high school has meant buckling down and getting serious about homework. And learning. And the future.
Next year we’ll start another tradition: Packing the car to its bursting point and driving to his campus. But until then, I’m going to enjoy the year ahead.