Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First day of the next four years of his life

I made sure he got up on time and showered. Provided him with a breakfast of protein and vitamins to help him get through the day alert and energized. Ensured he had put on deodorant and brushed his teeth. Ran my fingers through his long, blond hair that I had washed and conditioned the night before. Nixed one heavy metal t-shirt for one a little more "mainstream". Asked if he wouldn't mind if I walked with him to the bus stop. "I don't care" gave me the opening I needed, yet I stayed 50 paces back. As the bus arrived, I mentally hugged my firstborn son and told him to "have a good day".

What I really wanted to say was:

- Smile and stand up straight so people think you're nice and want to approach you.

- Don't talk about heavy metal so much that you ostracize everyone who doesn't appreciate it like you do.

- Keep your schedule in your pocket so you know where you are going.

- If you don't know where you are going, ask someone and don't think you're dumb.

- Say hi to someone in your class; start up a conversation if you can. Don't keep to yourself.

- Don't freak out if your locker gets stuck or you forget the combination. Laugh and ask someone for help.

- Be respectful to your teachers. This is their first impression of you. Over time, find one teacher or counselor that you hit it off with. Then when you have a problem or issue that you don't want to talk to me about, perhaps you can talk to them.

- Pay attention so you know what's going on tomorrow. Take notes if you have to. Write down your homework if you have it.

- Lose the attitude. Everyone can see through it and it will do you NO good.
- Give people a chance and they'll give you a chance.

- Look into joining SOMETHING. I told you ONE THING. I don't care what it is. You must join ONE THING this year. I know you think I'm crazy, but I know what I'm talking about here.

- Know that how you act now is how people are going to perceive you for the rest of the year. Be the nice, kind, funny and endearing kid I know you can be and lose the uber-cool "can't touch me" exterior.

- If you can't find your bus at the end of the day, don't panic. If you miss the bus, call me. I will be there.

I will be there. You don't want me to be there right now, but I am. And I think you know that. I am hoping that these next four years will be some of the best years of your life. These will be the years you will learn - both academically, socially and emotionally. You will have amazing ups and horrible downs. You may fall in love. You may experience heartbreak. You may find the friends who will be your friends for the rest of your life. You may discover your passion and realize that it's what you want to do as a career. You may discover yourself - at least a little bit. And through it all, I will be there, walking 50 paces or so back, but there just the same.

Happy first day of freshman year, Fearless 15. 

"Don't get too close, Mom."
"I know, I know. I just need to make
sure you're safe."


  1. Bit early in the day for a cry for me, but here I am...

  2. Thanks for making me cry this early in the morning. :)

  3. I can't even think about kindergarten without tearing up! And that's 2, 3, and 5 years away.


For those of you not commenting directly from a blog, the simplest way to leave a comment is to go to the "Comment as" dropdown menu and select Name/URL. Type in your name and don't worry about the URL.