I’m feeling all kinds of emotions at the moment. My son, my only boy, is starting High School tomorrow.
I am nervous, apprehensive and a little bit hopeful. This year he will be thirteen, a teenager, and while I can see that he is growing up, he will always be my little boy.
My initial years at High School were stressful. I had just arrived in Australia from Scotland and going to an all girls Catholic school in the southern suburbs of Sydney was a culture shock to say the least. For about two years I found it really hard to fit in. I battled homesickness, getting used to the heat, getting used to the Aussie accent, and puberty all at once.
Many people I know have memories of their time at High School imprinted in their minds, much more so than any elementary or primary school memories. And not all of them are good. Who hasn’t gone through a bit of misery at the hands of the mean, popular clique? Or been rejected by a boy they really liked? Or just felt like an outsider each and every day?
But there are positive memories associated with High School too. Beginning to know who you really are. Finding others like you whom you can really relate to. Sharing interests and passions and beliefs. Wanting to be an instrument of change in the world.
Time. It passes so quickly. I sounded like my Grandmother when I said that. Uttered low in the throat, so that there is a catch there, which could be regret or maybe just joy at being alive in the first place.
I used to be a girl, but now I am dying. Those were the last words my Grandmother said to me. At 89 years old. Drink each day in, she said. Each one is a gift. Don’t wait to enjoy life.
My Grandmother was right.
Don’t wait – because Mistress Time, she waits for no one.
This is Nick on his first day of school all the way back in Kindergarten.
I hope he is able to tackle High School with as much enthusiasm!