I sit here this morning at the kitchen table looking at the clock and drinking a Pepsi. Yea, I know… I was supposed to give it up.
Carissa is at junior high orientation today. It’s something that Sean never got to experience. He’ll be headed full-time into junior high without navigating the proper rights of passage that include a day of team building and tips from the eighth graders.
No, in fact, he’ll be the eighth grader and that’s probably the scariest part of it all.
Carissa will struggle to figure out a nine period class schedule. She will struggle with finding every room and being on time. She will forget her gym locker combination and will, at some point, not have the right book from her locker for her class.
Carissa will do all of this but she will also be one of almost 300 kids the same age, the same grade, managing and fumbling along in the same way.
Sean will do all of this and he will be just one in a class of many.
Sure, there will be other “new” students that have come to the school for eighth grade, but how many will be like Sean?
How many will have Sean’s lack of experience with changing classrooms, going to lockers, and eating lunch in a cafeteria?
Sean is excited to start school this year… a first for this home-loving, computer-infatuated boy.
He’s not thinking of all the tasks that lay in front of him.
He’s not thinking about how he’ll handle peer pressure, bullying or stress.
Sean is only thinking about girls.
Yes, puberty has set in and taken up residence.
I guess I should be thankful that he is oblivious to everything else. Why have both of us freaking out about the upcoming year?
Parents are invited to the last part of orientation today. Carissa is supposed to show me around the school and walk her schedule with me.
It’s her time….
Unfortunately, she’ll have to share it with Sean. I’ll try to give Carissa her moments today as best as I can. But afterwards, we’ll begin the long process of acclimating Sean to his new school. We’ll walk him through his schedule and try to establish some kind of routine.
Classes don’t begin until Wednesday but, come Monday, we’ll be there every day. We will be meeting with teachers and staff. We’ll be walking those hallways with watch in hand, timing everything so Sean doesn’t feel like he has to “fast walk” from class to class and get nabbed for running in the halls.
We will also work on his locker combinations. How is he going to remember the one for the hallway versus the one for his gym clothes?
Will he get frustrated having to change for gym? Will he put his shirt on forwards or, like this morning, backwards?
How will he remember to change out his books from his morning classes to his afternoon ones?
And where will he keep his I.D.? Hopefully, it won’t be like last year when he chose to put it in his shoe…
So many questions… So many things to think about and try to pre-plan and pre-teach.
It’s funny how I don’t worry about Carissa that way. She will learn along the way with all of the other 6th graders. They are the new kids on the block and getting lost or flustered is expected.
I have every confidence in her.
You would expect me to say that I don’t have the same in Sean, but I do. He’s come so far and his team have been extremely diligent about setting him up to succeed. They have not mainstreamed him with little thought or guidance.
They know he will succeed.
And I do, too.
But I do worry.
Maybe it’s more so with him because he is my first born…
Maybe it’s because I’m already pre-worrying about next year and high school…
Or, maybe it’s just because I’m a mom.
And worrying is what moms are required to do.
It’s also what I do best.
Therefore, I will send my kids off next week, pat myself on the back for a job well done…
And then sit down with Pepsi in hand and worry….