I have partnered with Life of Dad and Straight Talk Wireless for this opportunity to write about my thoughts as my daughter enters high school. Some links in this post are sponsored. My thoughts are my own.
As a dad of a teenager entering the chaotic world of High School, my wife and I have a different situation to wrap our heads around than parents of toddlers and middle schoolers. In some ways, preparing for this year has been easier than in years past. But, in some ways, it’s a bit more nerve-wracking.
This is the beginning of one of our daughter’s bigger chapters in life. I say bigger because there are chapters ahead yet unwritten. Even now, she is thinking “dream college” and “backup college”. And the beginnings of a sketch of things beyond college. I can’t say I had that type of vision at that age but, she certainly does. And my wife and I are both excited, a bit nervous and in a bit of awe all that the same time.
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What’s Changed for Us
The biggest is that this “daddy’s little girl” is “little” no more. She’s become a young lady full of potential, hopes, dreams, likes and dislikes.
She is driven from within in unique ways with personal motivations. And has made the most of every opportunity. Just this summer she volunteered (and continues to volunteer) at a local women’s shelter retail store. The surprises continue to astound us.
What’s Made Easier
It used to be that we would have to drag the kid from store to store. Sometimes bemoaning, sometimes complaining, sometimes tired, hungry or, whiny. During those days, a trip to Justice and a smattering of other young girls stores and we were done. Those days are gone. They’ve been replaced (largely) by her bringing her phone to us with her shopping cart ready to check out. The shopping cart has the most desired things that she’s found on sale at the typical retailers for her age: Hollister & Aeropostale. And with a few taps from us on her cell phone the things she wants (and that we agree to) show up a few days later in the mailbox. That’s progress.
The harder thing isn’t the technology. It’s more realizing that this person we are actively raising is becoming a person (duh). And then, there are things like learning to drive. What? Where did that time go? Seriously, the time has passed in the blink of an eye. My wife and I (half joke) that time is accelerating. This is not armchair physics. I’m not sure what to call this phenomenon. But, what we have noticed is that ever since we met and something else was added to the mix… getting married, adopted a cat, had a child, adopted a dog. Time seems to pass faster with each year.
How We are Managing (Barely)
Do you have chaos at bay? Good. We are still wrangling it. I think the biggest amount of chaos we encounter is around our schedules. We’ve slowly adapted to keeping an eye on a group calendar. In our case, it’s a shared Google Calendar that we all have access to add events from our laptops or, smartphones. Now, our family isn’t universally sold on this idea and there are a few nuances that needed to be worked out in our blended Android and Apple device family but, we are working on it and it’s starting to show signs of paying off.
I don’t know what our daughter will find ahead in high school. I hope it will be something to help her in life and help choose a bright path forward. High School is but a stop along the sometimes rocky road of life. I have all the confidence in her that she can make the best of it. No question, we will be there every step of the way to help her, if she needs it (and sometimes when she doesn’t).
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