This morning, ten years after I first walked into the school to register her for Pre-K, I returned to the school with another baby strapped to my chest and registered Jaiden for high school.
Yes, you read that right. High school.
All week I’ve been that mom, the kind of mom you already know I am, the mom who pokes her bottom lip out when milestones are around the corner. I can’t help it. It really does go so quickly and I need to put that on a shirt or something because I say it too much.
But – pouty bottom lip – high school, people. High school.
Jaiden has attended the same school since she was four years old, so I’m a little nervous about the change in facility. She’ll do just fine, I know, because, as I said when she started Pre-K a decade ago, “She has her daddy’s adaptability, personality, and ability to make friends, so I know she will do well!” She will be taking all college prep courses: Algebra 2 and its lab, English 1 and its lab, Biology 1, World History, PE and wants the HOSA career cluster (which is Health Occupations Students of America – she wants to be a nurse practitioner at this point in time, she says, but she’s also considering engineering). She’s been in band since the fifth grade, has been first chair flute all of that time, but she’s ready to try other things. She wants to play volleyball.
When you’re 25, you don’t really spend a lot of time thinking about the future and I certainly didn’t think we’d still be in Covington, Tennessee a decade later, so I definitely didn’t think she’d still be at the same school (their school is PK-8). But, here we are, and she is one of a few who’ve made it all 10 years here. She’s proud of that.
Back then, part of the evaluation included hopping on one foot and counting. I thought about that as I signed the registration form this morning and had to blink back tears.
We’ve come a long way.
She’s done so well, better than I could have hoped.
Jaiden has been on the honor roll every single marking period and in the top 10 every year thus far. She’s tested above average. Loves math and science, reads a lot. In 10 years, she has never had a disciplinary problem (though she had a short stint in Pre-K where she was doing an awful lot of chatting and then there was the one time she clipped down in Kindergarten). She gets along with most people. I’ve seen her circle of friends mature from kids who cried all day and played on the little playground to mature, responsible leaders. The other week I was on the parent panel for leadership day, which is part of their Leader in Me program, and one of the boys I’ve known since 2006 said he’s set a goal to get a job soon and start saving for college. His mother told him to work hard for a scholarship and he said, “Even if I do, there will still be costs associated with college, Mom,” so he still wants to save. He’s 13 or 14! Cue the tears.
And so we are here. At boys. And braces. And listening to music on repeat. And getting upset with me because I won’t let her go to Beale Street Music Festival or drive her to Nashville for a concert. And puberty. And devouring YA novels. (One day she came home talking about Greasers and Socs and how great The Outsiders is and how I need to read it, so then I told her I’ve been trying to get her to read it for two years. lol.) She’s planning to use the TN Promise to attend our community college to get her nursing degree, then move on.
In four years, we’ll be preparing for high school graduation and college and Jenna going to high school and Jensen going to kindergarten. I’ll also be turning 40 that year, so you can count on me crying my way through 2020. I feel like I’m foreshadowing a little bit, but we’ll just end that part with “the good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.”
High school, man.
Here we go.