Class of 2016

Summer is officially here – it’s Solstice, school has let out, and summer camp begins on Monday. And soon we shall install Pretty Pretty Princess Land* in order to beat the heat.

Our Man Cub is now officially a high school student! The middle school held a ceremony for the leaving eighth-graders yesterday, and I totally got weepy when they all filed into the auditorium. It felt like when he was graduated from grade school two years ago, and it felt like when all the kindergarteners were lined up at the end of the year and paraded around. He’s growing up.

I’m excited for him, and I’m scared for him, this gangly, tall, hairy-legged boy. And I hear that’s right about where I should be, as a parent.  This year brings a new school, new bus, new classes and friends, and a new sense of freedom. It’s huge. (Also, I’m freaked out about driving and about the costs of college, but that’s a different story.** )

The most exciting/scary part of this all is remembering what business I got myself into in to high school. Dude. I did some stuff – a lot of it reckless, a lot of it without permission, all of it without experience. I drove into some things with my car. *** I cut some classes.† I smoked on the sly. I had sexy times. I drank some drinks that my friends said were harmless.†† Really, the least of my trouble-making was the part my parents complained most about, dressing in black and listening to Bauhaus at volume.

Look – all of it was exciting, and I wouldn’t trade it out (well, maybe the parts where I drove my car into stuff), but at the same time, I’m a little sick with the possibilities of what Our Man Cub might get himself into just by dint of being a teenager. Not that he’s prone to get into trouble or anything – he’s a really good kid, to be sure. He’s definitely a nicer kid and a more personable kid than I was at thirteen. Also, I did some stuff that was less like trouble – I held a 3.4 GPA, I had a part-time job, I was the Art Club president, I studied languages voraciously, I took guitar lessons, I was a chubby modern dance student,  I made some dear dear friends with whom I mostly went record shopping on the weekends. So maybe things balance out?

Today he rolled back over into bed when Will Dearest and I left for work (the teenager switch has been pulled – eating and sleeping are the top priorities), and I felt a little tinge. Some of it was nostalgia (to be fair, some of it was envy – I would have liked to go back to bed, myself), and some of it was the beautifully uncertain promise of what’s to come.

One more camp summer. One more summer for things to be easy and his biggest obligations to be moving the lawn at Grandma’s house.  One more summer where he’s still balancing on the fine line between being a kid and being a teenager. While I’m excited for the promise ahead, still, this summer I’ll savor every little bit.

***

*The air conditioners. It’s the first day of ninety degree weather, and I am already tired of the nausea that comes along with.
**And the way that four years can go by in a snap without much in the way of saving up.
***Another car. A snowbank (college). The side of our house (college). Hang on, now – maybe I actually had more car issues after high school… I’m not sure if I find that comforting or not, to be honest…
†I crawled out of a Friendly’s one morning on my hands and knees when I realized my father had just walked into the restaurant. In my defense, I paid the tab before sneaking away.
††SPOILER: I threw up. Well, anything in that quantity will probably make one throw up.

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