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.