Thursday, August 25, 2016

Off To High School--Round One

My son is starting high school in a couple weeks. 

Whaaaaaat? I both kind of can't believe it and feel totally okay with it. Yesterday we registered Peyton and got his schedule and got his locker. Then he had a team dinner with the football team. He seems appropriately confident and nervous. He seems ready.

Yesterday I had a talk with him that was equal parts "I Hope You Dance"/I will fucking kill you if you get messed up with drugs/grades matter/hard work matters/I will love you through all of it. He nodded while I just kept talking and talking. I have no idea if I was saying the right things or if it was too much or not enough. At one point I even admitted to eating "space cake" when I was in Amsterdam but followed up with "I was 20 and it was legal!" Ahhhhh! I stopped there because I'm not ready to tell him all the things I did or know if I even ever should. Oh hell, I have no idea! I switched gears quickly and talked about identity and threw out a Jay-Z quote because he's still cool right? Ugh. OMG. I ended with "well you get it right? I love you and I want you to have fun and know who you are and be good and be safe."

A bit cheesy? Maybe. Too much? Maybe. But god dammit I love that kid and I want him to carpe diem all the opportunities during high school. And um, I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. I just want him to have a sense of self and a sense of belonging in our family and know that we have his back (but we will also hold him accountable!). 

Years ago, my much younger brother, Harrison, was visiting us right before he started high school. Peyton was two and Lucy was a baby. We had a party, with just us, to celebrate Uncle Harry going to high school. 

Balloon hats were all the rage in our little kid house at the time, so we made one for Uncle Harry. 

We also made a cake and had streamers and signs and made him wear a tie. It was cute and fun and Uncle Harry was a good sport. "Someday we'll do this for you," I told a smiley, little Peyton. "When you go off to high school, you will get a balloon hat party."

Last night it was his turn. The balloon hat tradition continued and just like his uncle, Peyton was a good sport.

It was silly, but just as important to me as the big/cheesy/heavy talk. Traditions and a sense of humor are a big part of the family he belongs to. A family that celebrates together and talks to each other and laughs together and loves through all the ups and downs and carries on silly traditions and serious traditions...that's who we are. And my god, I'm hoping that helps Peyton and each of my kids as they grow up and carpe diem the hell out of middle school and high school and jesus, adulthood. And of course make good decisions and even if they mess up, and ahhhhh, I have no idea what I'm doing! Seriously, jumping into this next phase with my fingers crossed. :)

Here's the Jay-Z quote I used (I love it and have used it before and you better believe I will use it again. I believe it.):

"Belief in oneself and knowing who you are, I mean, that's the foundation for everything great."



  1. You are raising amazing people, and he will thrive. And probably make a couple mistakes at some point along the way, but you are going to be RIGHT THERE, and mistakes aren't such a big deal when you have a support system and balloon hats. Seriously.