My son is starting high school and I have all the feels. My son is beginning a new chapter in his life – and while we may both not be ready for it, here it is. To say I’m feeling a bit emotional about this next journey is an understatement.

Since last September when he began his final year of elementary school, I’ve been slowly preparing myself mentally and emotionally for the changes that are to come. I can’t help but ask myself, did I prepare him enough? Did I guide him throughout the years to know what’s right and wrong? Have I instilled in him the values and morals that are important? Will he make the right decisions? Is he responsible, resilient and self-sufficient enough? Did all the lessons that his father and I taught him stick? Did I do a good enough job raising him to handle everything that high school will bring?

While I have these moments of nostalgia and sadness that my baby is growing older, I’m equally thrilled to watch him on this exciting chapter of his life. He’ll soon be making new friends, having new experiences, and gaining more independence and responsibility.

But I’m also worried. High school is such an important social stage in a teen’s life .With high school comes peer pressure, academic pressures, and bigger responsibilities. Adolescence can be awkward, uncomfortable and plain tough. Teenagers seek acceptance, freedom and independence. But teens also often make poor choices, give into peer pressure, use social media inappropriately, and get involved in adult situations they aren’t quite ready for.

I know eventually my son will be exposed to the harsh realities of the real world. But I’m not ready for him to not be a kid anymore, and what saddens me is that he’s damn happy being a kid too.

I feel as though his childhood breezed by. I wish he had more time to not have the pressures of being a teenager today. More time to hang to not have to worry about what subjects he should take to prepare for university. More time before he’ll have to start looking for a part-time job. More time with his mom.

If only we could freeze time so that he can enjoy this stage of adolescence a little longer. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was his age and embarking on my own high school journey?

Now it’s his turn. And I’m proud to say I think my son is far more prepared than I was for high school, and equipped with the arsenal he needs to succeed.

Author

Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of amotherworld.com, a leading lifestyle blog for women.

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