Saturday, August 8, 2015

High school and anxiety

Mine, not hers.

Little one is heading off to high school on Monday. School has always been an issue for her. Not the academics... the crowds. She went to the same school for K-8th...a small school of under 500 kids. Some years she was in a part time program because the large group thing was just too much. These last couple years she went every single day....some days she only lasted for a half day. After Christmas break though, we all nudged her to last all day because we knew high school was coming up.

A couple nights ago we went to freshman orientation. I sat through the athletic directors spiel about parent involvement. Did you know that according to him, parent involvement can solve all that ails our youth? He happily told us all about is own daughter who has been away at a beautiful college that overlooks the ocean, she even has a locker for her surf board. All because he and his wife were involved. "If you aren't involved, then you are part of the problem."

I sat there listening and wondered how many other hurting parents were sitting there hearing his simplistic view to curing our hurting children. Drug abuse, mental illness, family upsets, lack of employment, chronic health problems.... if involvement had been all it took, if love was enough....I wouldn't have needed to process the life that cold cocked me square in the face, in this blog for the past 8 years.

So I decided to take what I liked and leave the rest. There were some phone numbers, some kind faces who made themselves available as known "safe people" to come to if trouble arises, the bell schedule so I know what time to get her there....stuff like that. (I'm sending my daughter somewhere where they need designated "safe people" to seek out in the event of trouble? WTH? I'm grateful and afraid all at once. )

I have somewhat radical ideas on education anyway... which I don't voice very often because Little One really wants to try this and I don't want to influence her. I want it to be her own personal choice. I think it may feel like a fresh start to her. She did great at orientation and when I had to run to the bank for cash to pay for "stuff," rather than wanting to come with me, she said she would stay there with her friends.


A dad of a boy she has shared the same class with every year since 1st grade is coaching the snowboarding team. He came over and escorted her to the sign up table by putting a pen in her hand and saying, "Sign it. I want you out there with us." I love this family and I am so grateful. We will see.... 

I just so want her to be happy and comfortable and find her niche.  She is such a sweet kid, and I am so very very exhausted from raising 4 kids with all of their various troubles. Do you hear me? I am so very tired.

Its been a rough week of letting go for the 7,980,896,000,000th time. (I don't even know what number that is....I just typed numbers and put commas after every third digit.....but you get my point.) Letting go is still my nemesis.  Occasionally, I still think I have the answers for my girl. That know-it-all voice has gotten much quieter through the years....its now just a nagging whisper, "Maybe if she tried this....." 

Of course I have 3 other children besides her. I have to let go of them too. Let them find their own way, not give suggestions...just listen and be present. Some days I feel like throwing a fit and stomping my foot.... "Just do it my way and lets get this over with!"

That has never worked in the past and you all know the definition of insanity.....

God love us all as we figure out this crazy journey.


Christina said...

God exists in the corridors of high schools, that's for sure. My son had similar anxieties when he went to HS. 3000 kids!! He managed well. Then, he had the opportunity to go to a special all dual-enrollment school for 11th and 12th. Total campus size about 90 kids. LOL.

Your girl will go and grow. One noisy hall way at a time. Maybe a special little gift for her, given the night before school starts might be a nice idea. Something to inspire her....


Mary Christine said...

My three children all went to the same high school. For two of them, it was a wonderful experience. For the other, (my sober daughter) it was hell on earth. And it was hell on earth for me because of all of the staff at the high school who thought "parent involvement" could solve all her problems. At one point, her father and I took turns accompanying her to all her classes. That was very instructional.

My granddaughter, daughter of sober daughter, started high school at the same school last year. It was awful for her too. She will start school this fall at a small high school in a small town in Montana. I hope that will be different for her.

I still have nightmares that I have to go to High School, so I perhaps shouldn't share my own tainted experience!

You will be OK Annette. You will get through this. Some day all the kids will be grown and gone and you will miss them terribly.

Lolly said...

Oh, I hope she does well. I miss high school. I miss seeing all of the friends I had. I hated the school part actually. But I loved the social aspect. Best of luck to her.

SoberMomWrites said...

Oh my sweet, sweet friend do I know what you are talking about here. My twins moved out last weekend and I don't know what to do with myself. This is harder than I expected.

Your little one is going to be fine, and if she's not, she's got a great set of parents to turn to when she needs help.

Because you know, being involved solves ALL problems with kids. (This is where the sarcasm font would come in handy.)


donohuli said...

I have been a silent lurker for a really long time, and I just absolutely ADORE your musings. I resonate with so many of your posts, deeply, and I can feel your pain many days. I can't seem to put into words why your posts mean so much to me, but I just wanted you to know I am sitting back here silently applauding you, supporting you and thinking you are a VERY wise lady that I would enjoy a cup of tea with!

Love this: "find their own way....not give suggestions"....I think EVERY mother is guilty of this. We want to solve their problems so that they don't feel the hurt, embarrassment, conflict - whatever will happen when they step right into the area you just knew they were going to fall into. I get that so much!

I was the same - people I adored would give me advice and I would think ' yeah yeah yeah, and then I would land right smack in the middle of the muck everybody else saw but was like I had to go through the sacred passage myself.

Maria said...

Oh my, donohuli, just wrote my post for me. I read your blog and may have commented once or twice on my journey with my son. I refer to that speech about parent involvement as the perfect recipe. Just told a police officer that last week. I would love to chat with you one day. I have lived this journey six years and it has definitely not been what I expected my life to be. I just pray and find peace in God and people like you, who remind us that we are not alone. Maria

Anonymous said...

Your Michigan friend here.
Annette, your plate is so full, yet your kindness, caring, grace and aplomb are reassuring for so many. You are doing a good thing here.

I'm always thinking of you. You have my love and support and prayers.

Syd said...

LOL on the surfboard in the locker. All perfect! Don't believe a word of it. No family is perfect--zero, none. I think about denial and the masks we put on to tell others how great things are. Life gets us one way or the other, but it is how we weather the storms that matter. The ship we are on is not invulnerable, nor is any individual. Hang in there my friend. Glad that you could take what you liked and leave the rest.