Noah will be wrapping up his middle school career in the next couple of months and in preparation for ninth grade next fall, all of the eighth graders in his class were invited to a high school “open house” Monday evening. The event was supposed to make them comfortable about starting their freshman year next fall, acquaint them with the school building, and help them to get a “feel” for high school via a panel consisting of a handful of teachers and counselors and a couple of high school students.
For Noah it was probably pretty exciting. For me it was a mix that bordered on being both mundane and stomach-churning.
I’ve been through the high school thing with a child before. But when Stella finally donned her red cap and robe last year and skipped down the aisle at the auditorium carrying her diploma, I don’t know if I was more excited that she had successfully finished high school or that we were finally walking away from all of the headaches
she’d we’d dealt with during the four years she was at there: jealous girls, tests, dances (don’t even get me started on prom), cyber bullying, tears, two-timing boys, team tryouts, and some backstabbing “friends” (not to mention these kids’ crummy parents). The list goes on. I mean, it wasn’t all bad, but I can’t say that I’d choose to have a kid in high school for eternity. I can do without the extra crop of wrinkles and stress-induced gray hair that these years perpetrate.
But here we are … ready to roll right into having a kid in high school all over again.
I’m hoping that having a boy in high school will be much different than things were with a girl. Boys don’t seem to get involved in the drama that girls do. Or maybe their version of drama is simply called “a fist fight out in the school parking lot after the bell rings at the end of the day.” But for the most part, they seem to be more even-keeled. Even when Stella was at the high school, she gravitated toward hanging out with boys because the girls could be…well…downright evil.
Don’t get me wrong. I do have concerns about Noah and high school. But my worries are sooo much different with him than they were with Stella. I’m not worried about him sobbing into his pillow when he gets dumped by some pimply-faced girl or the pointless drama amongst his friends. I’ guess I’m just plain afraid. Afraid that he’ll get in trouble for pelting a mini corn dog at some other kid in the lunch room, or get caught taping a neon orange “Kick Me HARD” sign to his best friend’s back. But most of all, I’m worried about him finishing his homework — and actually handing it in on time. These things don’t sound like huge concerns but although Noah is super bright, since the Ice Ages he’s been known to procrastinate, lose homework, and forget about assignments (…and did I mention he can occasionally act impulsively?).
With that said, the are a few things that I’m glad (yes, glad!) about as he enters ninth grade:
I’m glad he’s over 6 feet tall and that his height will camouflage him in a hallway filled with upperclassmen who enjoy targeting younger victims with their hilarious pranks.
I’m proud that he’s well-liked and quick-witted. And even though he’s disorganized, it doesn’t mean he’s not super-duper smart.
I’m so glad that he won’t have to don a green and white beanie the first week of school like I did as a ninth grader and be subjected to hazing by the seniors — like being forced to crawl on hands and knees to classes for an entire day (which, by the way, is really fun with an armload of text books, a spiral notebook, and a pencil).
I guess we’ll see what the high school brings but after having a year of respite from it, I really don’t feel like I’m ready to jump back into the whole scene again.
For those of you who have (or had) kids in high school, was the experience much different for the boys verses the girls? Or even between siblings in general? Do you have any tips for keeping kids on track (ahem…I won’t mention any names) or helping them to stay organized so they can be successful? Please provide survival tips!
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