As my children are close in age, it seems that, to my daughter at least, she has followed in her brother’s footsteps since she could walk. No more than 20 months separates them, but to one or both of their misfortunes (as they see it), they are only one year apart in school.
When my son went to high school last year, his sense of relief that his younger sister was still in middle school was written subliminally on his face. Although, it became much clearer to me as he waved her goodbye on that first day and said, with conviction, “thank goodness we don’t go to the same school anymore!”
I hate to break it to him, but today is freshman orientation for my daughter. And, it’s her school now, too.
Each year, she is one grade behind him. Each year, she has had at least one of the same teachers. This year is no different. This is where I see the identities of both children diverge, yet their similarities are so keen, no teacher can deny their familiarity.
We’re going to miss seeing the many special people at the middle school. Yes, both of us. Fortunately, friends like that stay with you.
She’s excited for the new experiences she will face as she walks the blue and gold paw printed sidewalks of Clewiston High School for the first time. I’m excited for her, too. Excited at the possibilities that becoming a high school student brings – for so many reasons individual to us all.
I don’t recall having a day dedicated to the fact I was a rising freshman. But, I do know I’ve never forgotten friends and teachers from high school – even though years and miles are between us.
As our kids embark on a new journey in the upcoming weeks, I’m reminded of the importance of individualism, support for their differences, and the parent-child bond.
I challenge you to be involved and engaged in their day-to-day activities. Know their teachers, communicate your concerns, ask about their friends, review their lessons, watch Hendry County School Board meeting recaps, and follow their grades online.
For my kids, they don’t yet see how their journeys are intertwined. Their high school years will now become pavers in the journey of life – a path much more interesting with a companion than when traveled alone. I’ll have a smile on my face when I drop them off, though. I’ll wave them both goodbye as I make only one drop off and say, “thank goodness they go to the same school!”
Photos by Alana Ali