Today my oldest child started high school. Wow, it feels strange to put that in writing. I barely slept last night, nervous and excited about what lies ahead for both of us.
I would imagine most parents feel like their high school days were just a few years ago. But as I pulled into the parking lot to drop my daughter off, she asked me not let her out too close to where all her friends were gathering. God, I remember doing that to my mom. Suddenly, I felt old.
As I pulled away, I watched kids driving their cars into the school lot. What a milestone that must be for mother! I think that’s when it really hit me that I’ve transitioned into an entirely different stage of parenting. I realize that over the next few years I will walk that fine line between giving my daughter independence and keeping involved enough to know when trouble is brewing.
With Facebook and smart phones, heated competition for college acceptances, and sexting, it’s a complicated time to be a teenager and a challenging time to be a parent.
Do I have what it takes to parent a teen? I think I do. Time will tell.
Over the next few years, my daughter will reach a whole new level of maturity. I have a feeling I will, too.