If you’re the parent of a high school senior, your social media feed is probably overflowing right now with evidence of what I call “the long, slow good-bye.” The last band and orchestra concerts; the sports night banquets; the senior dance recitals; the prom photos.
It is all bittersweet, and yet, I’m ready to rip the Band-Aid off.
It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed being the parent of a high schooler (at least most of the time); but everything has its season, and I’m feeling like it’s time for this season to end. Truthfully, most of our kids feel the same way. They’re ready to move on to the next big thing, whether that’s college, a gap year, employment, or military service. Anything but high school.
While I suspect their reasons for being done with high school are not always the same as ours, there is probably some overlap. We’re all probably ready for a little less oversight and more freedom of movement.
While I will miss my daughter dearly when she takes off for college, there are definitely some things I will not miss.
A Fond Farewell to:
1. The online gradebook
Okay, to be honest, I stopped checking the online gradebook sometime last year. (I highly recommend it for your sanity!) But somehow, I never got around to turning off the “missing assignment” reminder. Every time one of those pops up, I have to decide: Do I nag and remind my kid to hand it in, or just hope she’s on top of it? In college there will be no online gradebook or access to their grades, and I can’t wait for ignorance to be bliss!
2. PTO guilt
Our school has a wonderful Parent Teacher Organization with many actively involved parents. I know, because I used to be one of them. Over the past few years, I just sort of slacked off and became one of those parents who lets the other parents do the work. I feel truly guilty about this. So, the quicker we can be done with high school, the sooner I can stop feeling guilty about this!
On a related note, I am looking forward to not having to ask all my friends and relations to buy wrapping paper, cookie dough, candy, Girl Scout cookies, or flowers so that my kid can go on a school trip, camping expedition, or participate in extra-curriculars. Instead, we get to shell out an inordinate amount of tuition to cover all of those life-changing experiences. Hold up, I might be having second thoughts on this one.
4. Driving Miss Daisy
Yes, yes, I know, my kid is old enough to drive herself. But we don’t have an extra car, which means that most of the time, it’s up to me to get her from Point A to Point B. Some days I feel like I’m making endless loops between home, school, and after school activities. I’m so grateful she has these opportunities and would never change it for the world. But I won’t mind hanging up my chauffer’s cap for a while. Instead, I’ll just be schlepping all her worldly possessions back and forth to a dorm room twice a year for the next four years. Hmm.
No, I’m not the one doing the homework, and I’m lucky enough that I don’t have to nag her to do the homework. But it’s still an ever-present malady in our house, one that causes grumpy moods and piles of books and papers on every surface. It cancels our plans for fun family outings and casts a pall over winter break. I am looking forward to a schedule where the break between semesters means you can actually relax and possibly do something fun together! That is, provided our college kids actually want to do something fun with us.
So parents, save your tissues and sad faces on graduation day. Rejoice! Celebrate! Freedom is at hand—for them and for us. And if you happen to see me shedding a tear that day, I’m sure it’s nothing. Probably just allergies.