I walked into the huge doors of the high school, overwhelmed by emotion. It was all mixed up – joy, excitement, fear, pride, worry, disbelief.
My daughter was oblivious to it all. As she walked beside me she had her own feelings, but she hid hers beneath a cool smile, chatting with her best friends.
We were walking in to her high school orientation. This was her first glimpse at the next four years of her life. It was my first glimpse of how fast time had truly gone.
There are big transitions we face with our kids when they’re little. First steps, potty training, first day of kindergarten. So many milestones in such a short time. As they get older the milestones are harder to see.
There’s driving and first dates and graduation. All of them monumental in their own right. If we rush or blink too much we might miss some of the other things: middle school, first dance, first A, first F. They’re all part of a lifetime of steps on the way to adulthood.
My oldest starts high school in the fall. And this feels like a big deal. Even in middle school I was able to reason through how she’s still a kid and life might be going fast but we’re in the middle.
High school feels so much bigger, older, more like a getting ready for a goodbye. This shift feels complex for both of us. We are doing our best to feel ready. But not by looking at grades and course selection.
Here are 10 things that will help you both prepare for the high school years, no matter where you are at the moment.