Perhaps you are laughing at the title of this post as hard as I am. This because you already know that nothing, and I mean nothing you say to your child on their first day of high school will be heard. Your child will be so freaked out about the social aspect of their new frosh universe, they won’t hear a peep from you. Plus, at 14, it’s beyond embarrassing to have parents. Even Madonna’s kids are embarrassed, you guys! So if you are bestowing knowledge on the way to school, or, better yet, on their high school campus in front of other kids, your words are not only unheard, they are also monumentally horrifying. See your child cringe while standing next you while their brain reverberates with only this question: WHAT IF NO ONE SITS BY ME AT LUNCH BECAUSE I’VE BEEN SPOTTED TALKING TO MY ORIGINATOR?
Why does it matter what you say to your child on this day, then? What is the purpose of this post? The purpose is to convey that, for you, this first day of high school is a carte blanche moment. Blabber away! Say whatever’s on your mind! Speak loudly or softly, whichever you prefer, because this moment is both for you and about you. In other words, say whatever makes you feel like a brilliant parent and an amazing human. Then walk away and congratulate yourself on a job well-done as you bite off the last of your fingernails. Then shake your head slowly and pinch yourself. Then sob a little, or maybe a lot. Then wait for the text demanding WHERE ARE YOU? if you arrive at pick-up one nano-second after school is dismissed.
Here are the five life-changing nuggets I revealed to my child on her first day of high school:
1) Isn’t this exciting? I sure think so.
2) Did you remember to write your name on your fancy new calculator?
3) Are you nervous? You look a little nervous. I remember being nervous. Not that you should be nervous, at all, because you’ve got this. But are you nervous, a little, anyway?
4) That girl just waved at you. Is she your friend? She looks nice. Should we go say hi?
5) No matter what happens here, or anywhere, *wipe tear* you’ll always be my baby.
It was good. We’re closer now. Or maybe not, but hey, parenting’s a hard job, and I think we’re getting there. “There” being the culmination of a long, windy road lined with gemstones and the occasional land mine. “Lots of gemstones ahead, baby girl!” I told my high schooler on her first day. Who knows, maybe she even heard me.