Ready For The High School Years?

This mom is having trouble adjusting to the fact that her son is getting ready for high school.  I see those old FB posts; the photos that appear on my digital picture frame...what happened to my cute little boy?  Who is this man?

I can't believe I'm going through all this.  I thought I was "tougher."  I may be an emotional person, but I've always been pretty blas√© when it comes to the kid growing up.  He's no longer a baby; he's a toddler.  Ok.  He's no longer a toddler, he's a kid.  No problem.  He's no longer a kid, he's a tween.  Sigh, adjust the attitude and let's get cracking son.  He's no longer a tween, he's a teen.  I can deal, right?  He's a teen who looks and sounds like a man (seriously he definitely pass for 17 and possibly even older)...I'm falling apart!

We've been to the high school orientation; which was great, but also a little overwhelming.  We're getting ready for a meeting with the guidance counselor and selecting next year's electives.  You chose 6 electives (out of at least 20 choices) and you get two. There are so many wonderful classes that are available; there are only two that he can have next year.

Which leads us to the dilemma.  He plays the trumpet.  I want him to continue to play with the high school band.  I know from experience that it's a great organization and an opportunity to learn and grow so much; and I'm not even talking about the music!  He also has a great baritone voice; he doesn't know what to do with it, but that's why there's chorus.  He also is a talented artist, but thus far his training has been limited to one marking period per year of art class. Great, but not enough.  The high school has a wide range of art classes; traditional, graphic arts, fashion design, photography....  There's also the theater bug that has started to bite him.

Is it any wonder I'M stressing out?!?!  All while trying (and most likely failing) NOT to stress him out?

As much as I want him to be in the band, I know his heart and talent lie in art.  He hasn't had the opportunity to fully develop it and he finally has the opportunity to do so.  The question is which class.  We've emailed two of the art teachers, who don't know us at all!  Tried to give them a little background information and see if they can make some suggestions; not just for this upcoming year, but for what he might want to take over the next 4 years.

Musically, he is committed to a year of chorus.  It isn't band, but it is part of the music program and the two groups do overlap somewhat.  Plus it will give him a leg up when it comes to the school musicals.  (I'm hoping he chooses to give that a try; he's got great stage presence!)  After freshman year we'll see if he wants to try and qualify for the choirs that require audition, continue on with the general chorus or go in a different direction all together.  

While we are guiding him as parents (ok, it's mostly the drone mom here), towards certain subjects/experiences in high school, I KNOW that this is it.  Our input will not be as needed; he will be making the decisions about what path he will take for his sophomore year and on.  I HOPE he will ask us for our feedback, but...

I admit that freaks me out.  I've got to let go.  I can be a controlling mom.  (Can be?  Who am I kidding?)  I've always considered myself a drone mom and not a helicopter mom. (Meaning, I dart in and take a look around, step in when it's warranted, but TRY not to hover.)  This drone is going to be grounded; or at least less "droney" (I know that's not a word, but...) It’s the part of parenting that is going to be hard for me.  (It's the part that has always been hard.)  Walking that thin line between guiding and letting go...

I know HE'S ready for high school.  He might be nervous and apprehensive (I know he is), but he's going to be fine. He's going to be better than fine; I have no doubt.  The big question is:  Am I?  Answer:  I'm going to have to be. 

Wish me luck!


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