Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Time Flies When We're Having Fun

They grow up so fast....

Did you notice that it’s been over a week since I last posted here on “Since You Asked….”?

I’d like to say that this is due to the fact that I’ve been feverishly writing for another publication.  Or working on my book.  Or something much more romantic and productive-sounding than the truth: writer’s block.

You see, my oldest daughter and I went to Chicago for the Labor Day weekend, and I have been out of sorts since then.

Lesson learned: parents should never try and stay the night at their college-age child’s residence.  Never, ever, ever.  While I am happy to say that my daughter’s new apartment in Chicago is beautiful and spacious and in a fantastic location (and cheap!), I must admit that I missed the creature comforts of home that weekend.  Things like air conditioning.  And my own pillow.  And not being awakened at three o’clock in the morning by roommates singing show tunes at the top of their lungs.  And not having to share one bathroom with six other people that I don’t know.

Did I mention there was no air conditioning?

All that aside, it was actually a wonderful thing to have my daughter invite me to stay at her new place and help her get situated.  The best part, by far, was observing the look of sheer contentment and pride on her face as she sat in her newly-decorated bedroom and said to me, “Mom, can you believe I have my own apartment now?”

No, I can’t believe it. 

I’m not going to say something as cliché as, “Where did the time go?”  I know exactly where the time has gone.  I have written about these life transitions in the past and don’t want to bore you with more sentimental observations, but it seems to me that once your child reaches high school every year is filled with new experiences as he or she moves closer and closer to independence and adulthood.  And, even though I know this, I still can’t help marveling at how my kids change from one year to the next. I am constantly amazed by the fact that each year brings more responsibility and opportunities for them to learn and grow as individuals.

Take, for instance, my oldest son.  This year he is a freshman in high school.  Our school district assigns MacBooks to every high school student (an idea that is nothing short of pure genius, by the way), which allows them online access to such vital academic resources as textbooks, grades, assignments, and Internet research, just to name a few.  Can the kids get distracted by Facebook, e-mail, and games?  You bet.  But, how is this challenge any different than challenges faced by educators of years and generations past?  As long as there are kids, there will be challenges and distractions to learning.  Period.  The successful educator acknowledges these challenges and learns how to either work around them or work with them.  OK, enough about that.

My fifteen-year old son will also start learning how to drive soon.  And I’m not just talking about a golf cart here, people (he is already plenty adept at that).  My sweet, young, innocent little boy is no longer a little boy.  He is taller than I am, his voice has deepened, he cares about his appearance, and he can find his way around any technical device you hand him.  And now it is time for him to get behind the wheel and learn how to properly maneuver my SUV through the busy streets of Joplin.  Before I know it, he will be asking to borrow the keys so he can take some young lady to the movies.  Or at least transport himself and his younger brother to the golf course (I know where his priorities lie).  He will also want to attend social functions like dances and parties and, in two short years, (gasp!) prom. 

There will be ACT and SAT exams to take.  Grades to maintain.  Golf tournaments to play.  College visits.  College applications to fill out and essays to write.  Visits to the counselor’s office to “dot the I’s and cross the T’s”. 

And then, before I know it, he will saunter across that stage before all his friends and family, shake the principal’s hand, and be handed that piece of parchment that not only congratulates him for a job well done, but also reminds him that it is now time to move on and begin a new chapter in his life.

And I will smile.

Yes, it happens very quickly once they enter high school.

How about you - what changes are your children currently experiencing?  Do you have high school age children?  Do you feel like time is slipping away from you?  What did YOU do for Labor Day?

We want to know here at "Since You Asked...."!  Join in on the conversation in the comments section below!

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