High school was nearly twenty years ago for me, but also? It's kind of right now.
I have kids in high school and even though it solicits many eye rolls when I say this, I'm saying it anyway:
They are awesome.
The last few months of eighth grade in a new city/state/school were very difficult, to say the least. But high school? Oh lawd. It's nothing. They hoist those backpacks on their shoulders, march their happy butts right into those huge double doors, and love every second of it. They are making terrific grades, tons of friends, and they seem, thankfully, at peace.
Not surprisingly, my daughter has attracted the attention of boys. Older boys. And while this makes me want to have a heart attack, I was expecting it. She's beautiful, both inside and out. She's funny and kind and intelligent and I believe there are boys who care about things like that, even teenage ones.
What I didn't expect was the way my daughter handles this attention. How she gracefully and tactfully turns boys down. How she explains, kindly, that she doesn't want a boyfriend right now, but if she was in the market, they would be a good candidate. How she wants to focus on school and making new friends, and that she's happy to be their friend and hang out. Just nothing serious.
I can't take all the credit for this, despite my having 16 and Pregnant on in a near constant loop in our home for the past years (and habitually shrieking things like, "BOYS WILL LIE TO YOU! THEY WILL SAY ANYTHING TO SEE YOUR HOO-HA!" at her, even though she rolls her eyes every time). My beloved nephew David was also a fine example to both my children. He didn't get serious with anyone in high school, instead focusing on his studies and having a great many friends, both male and female. He was valedictorian of his senior class and now, in his sophomore year of college, he has a serious girlfriend named Molly. Molly is dreamy and we're all quite taken with her. In addition to just adoring David, I'm really proud of him and really proud of his choices and so very thankful for his good example to my children. Good things come to those who wait, and all that.
I wish I had been as amazing as my kid when I was in high school. Hell, I wish I was 1/2 as amazing as her now.
I'm here in a new place now, and having to make new friends, so it's kind of like high school all over for me too. I don't have boys macking on me, save the one bag boy at the Lowes Foods that I ended up telling, "I have underwear older than you!", but I have to make friends. This is not easy.
A large part of why it's not easy is me. I get this. I can't quite figure out what demographic group I fit in with and I'm still not quite sure what cornhole is, but I try. I really try.
My kid is teaching me how to navigate the mean girls and the insecurities.
Yes, that's weird.
But I'm thankful for high school.