In ten days, my daughter graduates from elementary school. She will have one more summer to be a little girl, and then everything will change. I will lose my Little-Monkey to the social experiment I like to call High School.
I am more than frightened; I am fucking terrified. The next four years are not mine; they belong to her friends and peers. No longer will I be her leading influence. She will need me much less, and I can’t help but be a little sad about it. Sad, scared, full-blown panic attack call it what you want. I remember High School and it kind-of-sucked.
I happened to attend one of the most pretentious High Schools in the area. The “rich-kids” school, loaded with snot nose bullshit. Your typical John Hughes Movie metaphor. I wasn’t necessarily the poor girl from the wrong side of the tracks; my parents had money. Just not the type of money that allowed me to drive a brand new Corvette to school. I didn’t wear Ralph Lauren Polo shirts, and there was no way in hell my parents would buy me a $20 bottle of shampoo.
I do believe I am better off for it
Instead, I was the girl who drove my Dad’s 1972 Bronco, proudly I might add. That is until he would leave his fishing boat attached to the top of it, and I would full-on-redneck-it to Sweet Valley High!
It wasn’t as if I was bullied or treated poorly so for that I do feel lucky. I just wasn’t your typical High School Girl. I did not relate to the “Woo Girls.”
Are you picking up what I am throwing down? My worries are valid, I have to send my precious sweet pea into the throes of Hell-School. Drop her innocent ass off to those hormonally charged gym-sock-smelling walls that contained me for four years. I can’t protect her from the mean girls or the Woo Girls, and I don’t like it.
I get it; I have to let my baby go. Loosen my protective grip so that she can flourish. But my guts are twisted; I want to keep her wrapped up in my heart, safe from the bitter world high school can be.
I can’t help but question my parenting at this point. I wonder if I have taught her everything she needs to know. Will she be the strong independent girl I brought her up to be? Did I?
Have I tattooed those core values across my sweet little girl’s heart? Is she strong enough to survive the next four years? Have I done my best to prepare her for what she is about to embark? The absolute truth is; I have no fucking clue if I have done anything right. Let alone prepared her for high school.
I am just as terrified as I was the first day I brought her home from the hospital. I am no more ready for broken hearts and menstruation. Then I was nursing and potty training. Each milestone is as much unchartered territory as the last.
What I do know, is I have spent 113,880 hours parenting this little girl. In that time, I have been no different from most every parent out there. I have cried out of joy, anger, fear, anxiety, lack of sleep and pure frustration. I have slept with my hand on her heart so I could feel it beat, and at times, have wanted to lay-down-the-beats. Truth … If I had this kid first, she would have been the last
I have watched her pull herself up from the floor to take her first steps. Fall to that same floor because she had a toddler tantrum, arched back blood-red face and all. I have held her hand through moments of sadness and disdain and will until the day I die.
So I say this to my sweet baby girl. I will always have your back regardless of what it is you may fear to tell me. I am not your friend I am your Mother, but I will stand beside you. No. Matter.What. Keep your head up and know that these days are only a small part of your life. You will grow much more, these are NOT the times of your life! You have many more amazing days to come.
So here is hoping I did something right, and my daughter has the common sense to be better than the crowd. To not worry about the crowd and be her own person. Until then, you will find me with a bottle of wine, wondering if I should have been a parent at all.
OMG She is going to High School!