As my oldest is entering high school this year, I am having quite the range of emotions. I am so happy. For my oldest daughter, I know she will have some of the best times of her life; filled with memories to last her throughout her lifetime. I am anxious. Yes, anxious: the boys will start coming out of the woodwork and older boys nonetheless. I have to extend her freedoms. There will be driving. I am sad. Her entrance into high school means I am aging and her time with me, under my roof, is escaping me faster than I care for.Recalling some of my happiest times in high school – I had many a moment with my friends. I had a wide berth of friends: those from cross-country and indoor/outdoor track, those from my classes and similar academic background, those who I worked with and more! I am lucky that several of these friends, I can still call my friends today. There are those people who will remember moments, such as:
· Asking me if I would be electrocuted if I ran track in the rain (i.e. will my hearing aid shock me). My response being equally humorous, in questioning where my plug-in to electricity was – reminding them that I am battery operated!
· Starting every xc race with a full out dance party and sing along to Barry and “Copacabana”; despite the insane stares and eye-ball rolls.
· After getting caught passing countless notes, switching to sign language to communicate during class - okay, worse – using the alphabet to spell out our messages during class because we did not use full-on sign language.
· Talking on the phone for hours every night; and yes, farting our brains out into the phone receivers to induce belly-hurting laughter. (No, I will not name names……..but she knows who she is!)
· Burping contests in the locker room at Doyle, which I sadly came in 2nd place – again, I won’t name names, but she knows who she is!
· The trip to Florida junior year with two of the funniest people and the endless memories that remains so vivid.
· The countless hours working behind the concession stand at the movies, sneaking popcorn and peeks at the cute ushers while gossiping.
· The countless hours ringing up groceries at both the old DeMoulas and the new Market Basket - and planning adventures when we all got out at 10 pm.
· Doing my best Vanilla Ice impersonation at Traxx. Oh, yeah, we could bust a move to MC Hammer as well.
My mother did not talk to me about many of the trials, tribulations, and emotions that come with high school territory in the life of a girl. Life lesson #1: I talk to my oldest about EVERYTHING. Yes. EVERYTHING. I do hope that with open communication, we can conquer our world together. Many topics are incredibly uncomfortable – for both mother and daughter alike. However, I trust that by having these sometimes awkward discussions, she will feel more educated as situations arise and she will be able to cope in her way. I also hope she will be more apt to come and share with me, or (ack!) ask me for advice. Okay, maybe that latter piece is wishful thinking on my behalf. I remember not using my best judgment in a multitude of scenarios – simply because I was not talked to, or guided along the path of teenage angst. I made some bad choices and learned to live with them. I can only hope I can use these for example for all of my children.
Because my oldest is very much a clone of me, both in looks and personality – I hope to use my short-comings to help her become a better person than I could have ever been. My eldest is very mature for her age and I see her liking boys that will be older than she is. Having met and started dating my husband at the ripe age of 17 (he was 25), I now understand the discomfort and grief I put my parents through. I have joked (but MEAN IT) when I say, “Do as your mother says, not as your mother does!” to my most mature offspring. However, I trust that she will make better decisions than I did because she will be more prepared and educated.
I am blessed. Despite my sad feelings about how quickly this beautiful child of mine is growing – I know that she is firmly rooted in her family. Many times when her friends are out gallivanting – she opts to stay home and hang with us.
I could go on and on, but my point is that I am happy for my oldest to embark on her own memory book in the making; and for her to solidify relationships that she will one day look back upon with glee. I also hope she will bank life lessons to use for her own life, her own children and more.