Thing 1


A friend of my teaches at my old high school (and if she’s reading this she’s cringing thinking, Oh no, what’s she going to say now…) and I was reminding her for the millionth time the other day that OHMYGOD…my son starts high school in TWO WEEKS. She’s reassured me a few times in the past but yesterday she said something completely enlightening. Something along the lines of you’ll love this phase (as will he). High school is soooo much better than middle school, and you’ll love watching his transformation.


It had never occurred to me that things might get better…not worse. And you know…I think she’s right. I look back at my own high school career and while I rebelled more and broke more rules, I was probably a much easier person to be around. Junior High me was very depressed and kinda hated my life and my father. High School Me asked him to chaperon field trips and enjoyed trips to the Art Museum. As a matter of fact, we started a tradition in High School of going to the art museum every Sunday that I was with him and not my Mom. That’s a GOOD thing. And that occurred in High School. We had some of our best trips together in High School, including driving around the South looking at colleges.

I think she’s right.

LilZ and I hung out alone quite late last night (translation: 10pm, late for ME…not HIM.) just chatting and hanging out and you know…I think it’s already better. I’m learning to give him a little more space and freedom and in the process I’m finding that the times when we hang out just occur naturally. I think I was so worried that he’d want to hang out with me…NEVER…that maybe I was trying to hard to force time with him. But as he gets older, I think we settle more into a working relationship we both need – so the bonding time occurs organically.

In other words…I’ve learned to just bribe him with Pizza. He’ll hang out with me for pizza.

I’m just really glad she phrased it like that because I think it reminded me of the good that’s waiting for us around the corner. While I’m terrified of the next four years on many levels, I’m also starting to get…excited.

That is…until the first time he takes the car without permission. Then I’m swearing off high school forever.

LilZ's Art
One of the LilZ’s friends took this picture and he did the post-processing which I adore.

14 thoughts on “Optimism”

  1. I like the color version slightly more than the black and white.

    You seem to enjoy LilZ so much it never occured to me that you were fretting over bad things coming. I thought you were upset about losing your first baby to manhood.

  2. Ok, remember middle school? And how MORTIFIED you were of your parents? How embarrassing they were, and how you’d do anything to get away from them? (Please tell me that wasn’t just me?) Well, high school is where you realize your folks are pretty decent, in spite of your mom’s loud laugh that makes everyone stare and the pick-up truck from 1973 your dad insists on driving. As a parent, a MUCH more rewarding time to look forward to 🙂

  3. LilZ has always been an exceptional guy, and I’m betting that he’ll continue to impress us all in his high school years. He’s just awesome like that.

  4. My friend Tari LOVES hanging out with her high schoolers. Her parenting style has always reminded me of yours, actually. Which is a compliment. 🙂

  5. My oldest is starting high school in a couple of weeks and I feel the same way. He’s starting to spend MORE time talking to me and hanging out instead of less. I too am terrified of the next few years but in some ways it is better. Thank you for bringing it to the forefront of my mind. Helps me focus on the positive.

  6. Just remember, you done did good! He seems like a good kid w/a good head on his shoulders 😉

    PS – Can he teach me some Photoshop skills?

  7. He is going to have so much fun in HS. I bet he will be busy with friends and extra activities at school and still find time to spend with you. He is just a cool kid.

  8. Thank you for this post. I too have been absolutely dreading my son starting high school. But when you shared what your friend said, I began thinking that you are right. Just this summer I have noticed how much my son has matured and seems to enjoy being around me much more than he used to.

    I think that while it is tragic that they are growing up so fast, they are turning into really special grown ups that are fun to be around and I am going to take your advice and focus on that!


  9. High school wasn’t always great, but I do remember it being so very much better than jr. high. I’m so glad you’ve found the positive!

  10. I love the B&W. I like BOTH, but I don’t know – there’s just something about a B&W…

    LilZ seems like such a cool, level-headed kid – especially compared to the kids his age I know. he’s gonna rock HS, and i have a feelign you’re gonna be that “OMG< I wish your mom was MY mom” mom 🙂

  11. I am excited to read how your relationship grows as LilZ enters high school. However, I have decided that my son will stay little forever, and never grow up and leave me.

  12. Let me say this: there are a lot of reasons why, in my 11th year of teaching and after spending the last 7 years teaching 8th graders, I bid back into a high school position starting this fall. Middle schoolers are energetic and fun, but the best is yet to come.

  13. I thought High school was much better than Jr .High. They usually offer so many more activities to be involved with too.

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