I’m not f’n ready

How the hell did we get here so fast? How is it possible that I have a son who can now be identified as a high school student as of last night? Damn, I always envisioned myself reaching a certain maturity level and having my shit together by the time my son hit the 9th grade and well, that didn’t happen. My parents seemed so much more mature and fatherly/motherly when I entered high school and now I’m realizing they may have just been hiding it real well. We need to have that conversation some day soon.

But this isn’t about me.

My son Jack graduated from 8th grade last night and as you would expect, my wife and I anticipated some emotions to bubble up during the ceremony. They already crept in leading up to last night so we knew it could get ugly real fast. I had a masculine front to hold up in front of the other dads so I had by best lip biting routine ready to go.

Turns out, I held up fine but my wife, not so much. I managed to keep it together during the slide show presentation of the students as babies, when each of the students presented their personal lesson learned from the school year and even when Jack was presented with his diploma. Maybe it was due to the gallon of sweat hiding under my shirt or concern with how long the salmon needed to sit on the grill when we got home, but either way, I survived the ceremony.

But it didn’t end there. What eventually got me was the following photo and it didn’t even move me when I originally snapped it last night based on my wife’s recommendation. Instead, it hit me like a ton of bricks this morning, when I was reviewing all of the pics from the festivities.

The gym was all but abandoned as most had moved on to taking their obligatory outdoor photos with the family. I look at this pic now and the gym seems to be taking a much needed breath. You can tell that the gym has done this a few times in the past and has the routine down pat. It had already moved on and for some reason that saddened me. This locale was a huge part of my son’s world and I still needed time to reflect. He had been in this school and in this gym for 8 years (the beauty of a small town) so there our memories in every corner of that red and black gymnasium.

I remember our initial orientation back in 2008 when Jack looked like he saw a ghost during the entire tour.

I remember his first year of basketball here and biting my tongue every time he traveled and playing it cool when he scored for the first time, after traveling.

I remember the first “Back to School Night” and staring out at all of the parents wondering who we would get to know well over the next 8 years.

I remember the concerts and wondering if Jack actually knew what we was doing with that saxophone. It kind of didn’t matter, he looked cool.

I remember basketball practices together from this year, forever thankful that I got to coach and hang with him one last time.

And now we’re forced to move on.

If the first 8 years of school flew by, I can’t even imagine what we’re in store for with the next four years. Based on my research and through various forms of intel, I’ve determined that we should expect those 4 years to feel like 3 months. And I still have so many questions I need answered by someone if I have any hopes of feeling any level of control again.

Do I push him hard to pursue his passion or let him find his way?

When does the college discussion become a reality?

How does a new school and new bus route impact our family schedule?

When does that baby face transition to High School Jack?

Should I be more serious about Rogaine in anticipation of the high school graduation photos?

Will he still be as passionate about the Mets and can I book Spring Training trips through 2020?

Do we have any chance of him still liking us?

If you have any of these answers, please provide immediately and you will be fairly compensated. In fact, that is my question of the day. Give me one piece of parental advice when it comes to managing a child in high school.

Thank you.

Next post we return to the gardening world where I have so much more control.

That was a joke.


If for some reason you kind of like, think this story was sort of OK, could you do me a solid and click that little faded heart below so my self esteem will increase enough to keep me writing. God you’re the best.