Inside of my head!
I love social media. Sometimes. I love watching former students grow into awesome young adults. I love seeing their academic accomplishments. Watch them get their drivers permits and licenses. Seeing them compete in sports and excel. It makes my preschool teacher heart shout when I know I had a tiny part in the success of a child’s life. I firmly believe preschool is the foundation academic excellence is formed on. Fight me on it😎
And yet, as I watch former students become honor society inductees, learn to drive, hold down jobs, letter in sports, and dress to the nines for prom, a small part of my heart weeps. It’s a little corner that hides behind the joy. It’s shady and enjoys poking holes in my joy for others. It’s a green and it’s well-placed barbs hit me where it hurts.
I’m generally not a jealous person. I truly enjoy watching the joy in the lives of others. But, when I feel like I should be joining in on sharing those same milestones yet am not, that little green monsters starts poking at me with her sharp sticks. It’s in those moments that it gets hard to type well wishes and congrats on those joyous social media posts.
When the current teenager of the house hit freshman year, I was excited. I prepared myself for hectic basketball seasons, drivers lessons, Friday nights football games, and loads of friends in and out of my fridge. I was eagerly anticipating our color-coded family calendar being full, juggling schedules and sporting my school pride. Somewhere in there, a sharp left turn happened. And I’m left holding a bag of expectations wearing a sad expression.
Some days I feel like the kid who’s mom promised her chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and was handed a cheese stick instead. What I was hoping for when the kid hit high school is very different from the reality. I sit and wonder, were my expectations of his high school life too high? Perhaps. Maybe I should employ the philosophy MJ uses in the new Spider-Man movie—“If you expect disappointment, you can never truly be disappointed.”
It makes me sad for my kid that he isn’t taking high school by the horns and doing the things. No Friday night lights with friends and pizza afterward. No cheering teammates on from the sidelines itching to get into the game. No cheesy drivers license picture. No fun prom pictures to look back on. Nothing.
We tell our teen constantly we can’t want it for you. We can’t want his future for him. We want him to do the work. We want him to want to play ball, learn to drive, go to school events, graduate high school. We want him to want a life that leads to the bright future we always hoped he’s have.
Being his mom is frustrating at times. God knows I love him with every fiber of my being. But, doggone if parenting him isn’t the most frustrating practice in juggling patience, persistence, and tough love. I’d rather juggle flaming swords blindfolded at this point. As he draws to the close of his junior year, with four summer school classes to look forward to, I can only hope his final chapter, senior year, will be better. Because, at this rate, his graduation cake won’t say “congratulations” it’ll simply read “you’re done”. And that is a sad thought.
Are we done yet?