My days as the parent of a high school kid are dwindling quicker than a Kardashian lipstick collection.
My youngest child will be graduating in a matter of weeks, and the high school years- full of fun, drama, noise and angst – will be but a bittersweet memory before I know it.
I will miss the days when my house was full of screeching girls, crammed six in a bedroom, fighting for mirror space and hair spray before a Homecoming dance.
I will miss the nights when my family room was darkened, smelling of popcorn, an unknown number of teenagers huddled under blankets, watching scary movies on Netflix.
I will miss the dedicated teachers, administrators, and coaches that truly cared, and nurtured, and modeled great attitudes and behaviors for high school students.
And I’m sure like you- I’ve met and befriended countless delightful parents along the journey. I fully appreciate the collective village that assisted each of my kids in getting through their four years. Before driver’s licenses, carpooling was LIFE.
There is however, a small group of parents I will be happy to turn a corner on, and watch grow ever smaller in the rearview mirror of my life.
Join me as we gather together and raise our voices in true Von Trapp Family style:
“So long, Farewell, Auf Weidersehn, Goodnight”… to this little cast of characters.
1. “Lit” Linda. The Mom who competes with the 17 year olds to see who can dress the trendiest and host the biggest parties. She not only provides the alcohol; she organizes the drinking games and acts as photographer to get the best pics for Snap Chat. Kids will be kids, right?
2. “Re-Live It” Rick. The Dad who never quite got over losing the 1986 State Championship in a buzzer-beater. Has been telling anyone who will listen for the past decade that his kid will be a professional athlete someday, in between yelling at coaches and bullying referees. Always the first to say his company will sponsor the team uniforms, and to buy the coach a beer after the parent meeting. Sure, we’d love to know what your son is bench pressing this week.
3. “Try Hard Theresa”. Arrives early at every Parent-Teacher conference night and overstays her welcome. Emails teachers to ask about extra-credit for her child’s A minuses, and must know the SAT scores of every student in competition with her child for admission to college. Absolutely, your little genius will get a scholarship to Stanford!
4. “Clueless” Claudia. Her daughter is a model child- always studious, kind, well-behaved and participating in community service projects. She is one proud peacock and has perfected the humble-brag. If only she could see what her sweet girl was posting on social media, she’d be stunned into silence as her eyes burned with horror. Bless her dear heart and pass her a glass of Pinot.
5. “PTO” Patty. The Mom you hide from behind the holiday display at Target. She chairs at least one committee for multiple high school events every year, practically living at the school and organizing 24/7 planning meetings – with a big smile on her face, and a double espresso balanced on top of 3 notebooks. Yes, please text me another slideshow of Pinterest-worthy table centerpieces at two o’clock in the morning.
May all of you parents mingle happily together in the hallways, gymnasiums, auditoriums, and bleachers of high school for eternity.
As for me, “I flit, I float, I fleetly flee…. I fly.”
Marybeth Bock, MPH, is Mom to two adult-ish kids and 1 delightful dog. She lives in Arizona, teaches Health and Wellness classes, and thoroughly enjoys research and writing – as long as iced coffee is involved. You can find her writing on Grown and Flown, Blunt Moms, and on random scraps of paper around her house. On social media, you can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.