Sam and Chris in Rain Ponchos

We’re back-to-school shopping. It’s the Mississippi state tax holiday today and tomorrow, so along with the rest of the state, we’re stocking up. And we’ve got lots of extra money to spend this year. You know why?

No Mississippi public school registration fees! (You can’t see the ear-to-ear smile that’s splitting my face right now, but trust me when I tell you it’s there.) In Indiana, we were surpassing the $1,000 mark for book rental and registration fees for 4 kids. And that didn’t include school supplies, new clothes, athletic fees, or lunch money. August was quickly becoming our new December.

This year, we get to focus our spending on collared polos in yellow, black, gray, and white and khaki shorts and pants. God bless the school uniform.

Sometime between 10:30 and 2:00, we’ll head to Starkville High School to pick up Sam’s freshman schedule.

I was never one to be weepy when my kids started kindergarten, never stood at the bus stop and cried when they ventured off to middle school. But high school?

How in the world did that happen?

I’m fairly certain I’m not old enough to have a high schooler. I’m positive that I’m ill-equipped to deal with all the high school experiences that are yet to come. When I think about my own high school years, it makes me want to crawl into the fetal position and bury my head. Not because I didn’t have fun. Because I had too much fun. I was a good kid. And I made some pretty bad decisions.

Sam’s a good kid.

Let’s hope he chooses better.

We’ve had The Talk with him multiple times. But it takes on a whole new meaning now.

I never did drugs, never drank (to excess, at least). I was always worried about my athletic eligibility. But many of my friends did both. There are some big decisions to be made in high school — and some maturity that hasn’t yet come full circle.

I’m excited for Sam in so many ways. He’s such a smart, kind, funny, sensitive kid. Sure, he can be dicky to his siblings and sullen when we wake him up before noon. But he shakes hands with adults and carries himself with confidence and will absorb more knowledge than I could ever dream of.

Physics, chemistry, biology, calculus — those subjects make my head hurt. But at 14, he can’t wait to dive in. Thank God he’s got his father to help him through. And when it’s time to diagram sentences and discuss Hawthorne’s symbolism, I’m right there with him.

Time marches on, friends. Hold those babies close and savor the good-night kisses while they last. Read “Goodnight, Moon” and “Where the Wild Things Are” one more time — even though it feels like your tongue will fall out of your head if you agree.

This year, we’re sending off a 9th grader, a 7th grader, a 6th grader, and a 4th grader.

How in the hell did that happen? Am I not still 28?

Look out, 2011/2012 school year. Here we come!

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Katrina
    I am enjoying reading your blog! Glad you are all settling in nicely.
    I have something of yours (no, not a child or pet); would you mind emailing me so I can elaborate? I typed my email address into your blog and hopefully you have access to it.
    Thanks, Mangala (northerner the ‘hood in Z-ville)

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