Addie's Going To High School

August 19, 2019

Addie's first day of kindergarten vs. her first day of high school.

“Addie’s going to high school! Oh wow, how do you feel?” That’s what people have been “teasing” me about since June. I kept thinking, “Okay, this is must be some big emotional moment that’s going to happen”. Or, “My anxiety will shoot up even more. Once she walks out the door to go to 9th grade.”

Today was the first day of high school for my oldest daughter. Guess what? It didn’t feel any different than the other last 9 first days of school. (Well, kindergarten was a different because I no longer had to give money to day care. Woo-Hoo!)

On the other hand, my wife, Amy, was bawling. She feels like she has losing her little girl. Addie wanted to Face time her friends about what they were wearing on their first day of high school. While, Amy wanted to talk to Addie about what she was feeling, and to remind her that her family will always be there for her. She wrote her a letter telling Addie all the wonderful things about her that she loves, all the important things to keep in mind, (integrity, honesty, don’t talk about people, stay out of drama.

A whole book on staying out of drama. (I had to remind Amy that Addie is not going off to war.... We can discuss the same thing in about 6 hours.). Collision of needs!

Meanwhile I'm chewing on toast, drinking coffee and trying to make jokes while feeling like a jerk, because I don’t have any emotions bubbling up inside. The only difference I feel this morning compared to yesterday is I'm tired. School starts early! (I repeat, I feel like an emotionless jerk)

I'm stuck in the middle. I see both sides. I can see how Addie would want to talk to her friends about what they’re wearing, feeling, etc. Maybe, spill a little tea (just trying to get a cool point for that reference).

I understand how her mom wants to be part of that excitement, and believes she is losing her little buddy, and that things will never be the same between them.

Maybe things won’t be the same. Maybe they will be better. Maybe they will be worse for a bit. Maybe, the relationship will just be… well, different.

I think it’s all about perspective. My memories of high school, are just “meh”. Nothing horrible, nothing amazing. I felt no significant difference in my relationship with my parents. I didn’t date, didn’t go to parties. On the other hand, Amy was not such a great student, dated, was pretty popular and had a lot of drama.

So to me, Addie might be heading off to 4 years of her life that just fill a gap until college stupidity begins. To Amy, Addie’s headed off to get her resume ready for her Dr. Phil appearance in 2022.

Good luck to the parents of the class of 2023!