You ready for high school?

Our school year ends in May and I’ve started encountering “You ready for high school” more and more lately.

I confidently say YES!

Over the past few years I’ve deliberately taken a hands-off approach to his schooling. He manages his own time with homework.  He manages his own grades. And this year as his extra curricula activities have increased, I’ve had him start managing his own calendar.

It takes a village and sometimes part of that village is the kids themselves.

And you know what? He’s doing it. It hasn’t been perfect but there’s no better time to learn these skills than when the risks are low.

Academically he’s signed up for a pretty challenging course load for 9th grade. I think it’s going to catch him off guard a bit. He’s used to getting his work done in school and I don’t think that’s the way it works when there’s no study hall.


He’s also going to take Latin. His father and I met in Spanish class and were fluent at the time but hey, this is what you get when you raise kids to think for themselves.

He has grown (6’2” what?) and matured so much that sometimes I just can’t believe I get to parent him. We haven’t run into the “miserable emo teen” phase yet.  But, man has his ability to lawyer represent himself in situations have nearly surpassed my ability to counter point him.

I still say I have the quickest wit in the house…..that’s mostly true but it’s getting close.

He has composed music for over a year and wrote me a piece for my birthday. It was titled “Oxbow Lake” and if you know what that is, makes it all the more special and profound. I play it often.

His father is what I call a “universal” in that nearly everyone who meets him, likes him.  Our older son didn’t inherit that (younger one did). He got my somewhat socially awkward and yet strong confidence that confuses people so it’s a 50/50 when people walk away if they want to talk again or NEVER again. He’s also very much like me in that social status or popularity matters less than zero to him. He knows who he is and stays true.  It’s been helpful in Jr. High and I think it will continue to work for him in high school……and life.

Watching him become more HIM has been a gift.

So, yeah, we’re ready.

Self Imposed Censorship

My brain likes walls. This isn't a political statement.

I’ve never been the type of writer that imposes deadlines or mandates on how often I decide to put fingers to keyboard.

Part of being creative in nature is using different avenues to express my mind….and writing just hasn’t been the road I’ve chosen for a while. It’s not that I haven’t been active on other social medias, I have, but this space has sat in time out for quite a while.

At this point, I know more former bloggers than current and while I do miss their words…I understand their need to just let go.

I’m not there quite yet but I do feel like I’m in a place of transition.

I used to put words down freely to the wide open internet space in a mostly anonymous way. That feeling of writing in the shadows was a big draw for me.

And then there is just continued life blockades.

As I become more connected with people in my community, the more guarded I feel about my words and the implications of them. This last year I’ve felt my words creating a wall from the inside. Not letting the words out.  This likely stems from keeping people at an arms length…’s a coping mechanism from my childhood that lives on.

I want to share about parenting a really strong and stubborn headed child (looks at mirror) or the transition of my older son (who initiated my online writing 8 years ago) into high school.

High school. Sigh.

As my children grow, there is also a need to protect them as their own people without their mom constantly posting stories and pictures of them.

I want to talk about having a thyroid disease that took out my brain for 6 months last year. Spoiler: I’m not one who does well working on 60% brain function.

I want to talk about how I’m becoming more involved with politics and there’s been quite the learning curve to all things government for me….but I’m getting there.

I want to talk about smaller and more frivolous life impacts like social engineering, a new house remodeling project, and how rabbits in my garden still piss me off.

I’m not sure why today was the day I decided to put more than a sentence together. That’s the way creativity works. You never when the creativity train decides to go.

I’m less concerned with how often I post but I am working on removing the self imposed censorship….maybe this is the start.







Athlete vs Intellect

A 10 year old boy has extraordinary skills in soccer. The boys coach suggests to the parents that their son has advanced skills and could use a higher level coaching to continue growing his skill set. Other parents have seen this boy play soccer and have also spoken to his abilities and there is no question that the boy is among the top local players in the game. The parents don’t think twice and seek out this path for their child.

Another 10 year old boy is home reading a physics book.  When the discussion of time travel comes up in class, the boy makes such a strong argument using facts he’s learned that he wins most of the class over.  But, there is no teacher to parent discussion that this boy has extraordinary knowledge about science and possibly could use more challenge.  Other parents wonder how and why the parents are pushing their kid to know so much.  The boy’s parents don’t know what to do, so they do nothing.

This is an exaggeration of a double standard so prevalent I recently caught myself falling for it.

I don’t have a TOP athlete by any means. But I do have a son who loves sports and has expressed wanting to learn more, be challenged more.  I did not hesitate to support him in a way that fit for our budget and time. I also haven’t felt judged for doing so.

On the other side, my other son is not an athlete but falls into the intellectual type.  He has a unique ability to have a lot of information about a lot of things. What makes that extraordinary is how he weaves it all together. His brain doesn’t compartmentalize information into subjects as much as it stores information in a vault and pulls from it with ease when warranted.

The above physics story is actually about him and (sometimes) instead of being celebrated, has cause problems. I once had an educator tell me that I shouldn’t be teaching him curriculum based topics because we are causing him to be bored in school.

Cool spin.

Newsflash, when your child learns to read independently at 3, you have little choice on how they choose their books at the library and learn.  He is almost the literal definition of self-directed learner. He wants to know it; he learns it on his own.  Seriously, I have no time for that people. (Bitter much still? yeah…)

Ok, so back to my point.

In the same week that I have my son doing extra skill class for his sport of choice, I have my older son telling me he wants to take an AP course as a freshman and I try to talk him out of it.


Partly because being a freshman is a huge adjustment upon itself. His course load will already be more than he’s ever experienced or managed. I also believe that I’ve been conditioned for so long by the education system to not have him do more than what the standard education can offer him.  And finally, high school counts.

While talking to my son about this, he says one thing that makes me realize how wrong I am.

“Mom, if there’s one subject I feel ready for, it’s this one” and he also adds on “Me taking this class is non-negotiable”

And you know what? He’s right. He is so right and I am so mad at myself for forgetting that he is his best advocate.

I’m also so proud of him. Proud for still having the fire, desire, and drive within himself to want more.

Do more.

Learn more.

Being a parent is supporting your children’s life and desires while your thoughts sit on the sideline.

And sometimes?

That’s a lesson they teach you.