11 Feb
2014
Posted in: parenting
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Dear Parent/Guardian

There are times when I’m not even aware life is weighing me down, when decisions made and seemingly filed away are, in actuality, still lingering in the peripheral of my mind.

We chose our top three junior high school choices for our oldest son a few weeks ago. I was prepared to wait months before finding out if he would attend his #1 school next year since children registering for kindergarten receive letters in March or April. When I checked the mailbox today, I took a deep breath, opened the door and slowly pulled out the two white business envelopes. Neither one was from our school district. I assumed today was not the day. Today, 10 days after the filing period closed, there was an email waiting. I was surprised (we were told a letter would arrive).

I remember applying for colleges, getting responses back and staring at the envelopes, willing the paper inside to match my desires. The excitement and nervous build-up was almost too much to handle. Each time those college letters said what I wanted them to….”We are pleased to inform you…” Seeing that unopened email today sent the butterflies in my gut into a turmoil. One click and there it was, “We are pleased to inform you…” He will be attending his #1 choice.

First Day Kindergarten

I felt the weight lift from my shoulders, the butterflies drift away and relief wash over me. I called over our son and had him read the email. I saw the relief wash over his face as a huge grin broke out followed by a shout of joy. When we went through this same process six years ago for kindergarten, I was just as nervous, but he wasn’t. He was a five-year-old little boy who would have settled into wherever he was placed. He was blessedly unaware that nothing was guaranteed. I was the nervous one. The choice weighed solely on my shoulders. If we hadn’t gotten our first choice of elementary schools, I would have been disappointed, but he would have been unaware that things didn’t go in our favor. He would have been excited no matter what elementary school he had been accepted into.

Junior high is different. He went to the open houses with me. We sat and talked about the pros and cons of each school. He was an active participant in the decision-making process. This go-around, it wouldn’t have been just me who was disappointed. I really didn’t want to talk him out of disappointment. My relief was for avoiding a brokenhearted son.

The evening was filled with text messages to friends and more excitement with each new addition to the list of people heading to the same school. I relished the night where wants and wishes were realized. Life is rarely this complacent. I breathed in the joy of our 11-year-old and memorized his smiling face as he talked about junior high. After everyone was in bed, I cried tears of relief for wishes granted and tears of disbelief that he really is growing up. We are really doing this whole junior high thing. I’m relieved his journey into junior high has started on a high note. There’s already talk about school tours and course selection in the upcoming weeks. I’m prepared for the fluctuating from nervous to excited and am relieved there is no disappointment.

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