Being a Parent of Older Children is Hard

The last days of school are upon us. The kids have a week and then they are out of school for summer and I’m just starting to realize that  I’m going to be a parent of an incoming Freshman in High School (how has this happened?!?) and a Fourth Grader. It’s a daunting idea, lemme tell ya. I don’t even know where to begin with how I actually FEEL about the Girl starting High School in August. I was so overwhelmed at the 9th Grade Parent information night that I feel like I shut down and I still don’t know if we’re doing the right thing, or if we even signed her up for the correct classes. Well, all of the core stuff, we know we’re good with the band classes.

Since she is in the band we have already had a little taste of what High School will be bringing. Last night we had a Band Parent information night, picked up her marching band instrument and realized that we just said good-bye to our social life for the next 4 years. And that’s just for band. That’s not including the Boy and his activities on top of the band schedule.

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m writing in my planner all of the band dates – band camp, band practice, football games, parades, concerts, auditions, festivals, etc. into my planner but I feel VERY overwhelmed by this HUGE step in her life. If I’m feeling like this, is she? She seems to be going with the flow and is excited and can’t wait to march in the band; but we wonder if she’s thinking about the bigger picture. That there’s 3 nights a week she will not be home as she’ll be off doing band things, and that’s just the after school stuff. That’s not including the 2 band classes she’s taking during the day.

The Girl has worked SO hard the past 2 years during Middle School with band. She went from Beginning Band in 7th Grade to being in Advanced Band, Jazz Band and an All-County Band Member this year. We thought we were busy with just that. All of the stuff I listed above is just for Band next year. That’s not including the Jazz Band class she’s planning on taking.

As I sit here, typing this out, it’s bringing all of those feelings that I felt at the Parent Information Nights and all day yesterday as I was adding dates to my planner. How are we, me, going to juggle it all? How is she going to keep up? What about once baseball starts again for the Boy? He’s also talking about picking up Strings next year, how’s that going to factor in? Looking at the calendar and it being almost full for August and it’s only May it’s overwhelming. I don’t think I’m struggling with the fact that we have older kids, I think it’s the amount of time we’re going to be off doing things, that evenings at home with the kids is a thing of the past.

I knew at some point being a parent wasn’t always going to be snuggles and kissing boo-boo’s, but I’m not ready. I’m not ready for them to be out of the house and off doing their own things. I’m not ready to spend an evening without the Girl at home. I’m looking forward to getting more one-on-one time with the boy in the evenings, but part of me is sad about the fact there will be things she will miss. Even if it’s a silly joke at dinner or laying on the couch watching tv together. I know, I know.. they aren’t going to be in the house forever and it’s only 3 nights a week she’ll be gone.

I’m sure you’re thinking that this post is only about the Girl. It’s not. The Boy comes with his own challenges too. He’s to the point that he is off doing his own thing, although a little more under our control. Baseball and Strings next school year means we maybe going in 2 different directions ALL.WEEK.LONG. which is par for the course, but I’m really missing the days when it was Hubs came home from work, we had dinner, baths, watched some tv, bedtime stories and then bedtime. Oh how simple that was!

I love my kids at the ages they are now. 14 and 9 really isn’t that old, but they also aren’t so little that we need to stay home and they are in bed by 8 pm. I LOVE the fact that they are independent and I’m not having to bathe them, dress them, etc. etc. but could we just slow this down, just a little. Just so we could have more snuggles, more lazy evenings watching tv and cutting up.

There are going to be some big changes around here in August. Now lets see if we survive.