I'm sitting in a giant fishbowl all alone. Well, I'm in a giant high school auditorium with about 650 students' parents. We're all here for 9th grade orientation. Some of us, haven't been here, ever, 1st kid in high school; others have other previous kids in high school or even gotten all the way through it already and are starting on the next kid. For me, its the first time with my daughter, and until God grants us the pleasure of a second child, it will be my only time. Anyway, it feels an awful lot like this orientation is for us - for the parents - more than it is for the kids, er, uh, teens ( makes W out of thumb & forefinger on each hand). It's a sales job... we're being sold on "how great Lake Mary HS" is...why? Because, parents (at least in Central Florida) have a choice of even public schools now. If you're not familiar with the 'magnet' program, check this out. So, I could put her in a magnet school of my choice, or go so far as to pay for private school. So, no wonder we got all the academic & sports stats for the last 4 years... particularly the 'we're in the top 2.1% of all high schools reviewed by Newsweek'. What he failed to tell us is that Lk Mary HS ranked #373 out of 500, while another school, close by, ranked at 238 out of 500.
So then we move on to the 'high school survival' part of the orientation. They took all the teens out of the room and just left us 'rents for this part. They said they would be doing some type of 'pep-rally' style high school survival thing for the kids... apart from us. Bogus. I sit in meetings all the time with dull to coma-inducing slideshows. I wanted to go with the kids for the pep-rally version. :( We covered the dress code, peer connectors (sounds a little bit like bossy seniors who get to practice their know-it-all-ness on freshmen), school start/end times, absences and all that jazz-z-z-z-z-z. Snort, huh? what? Oh.
Ok, snooze fest is over... now we're supposed to go meet the kids in the 'Ref' room (cocked eyebrow... W). Now I head with 650 other sets of parents over to the Ref room to hook up with our kids so that we can walk the campus, find their locker, find their classes, and generally hang out in a place we'll barely even get to visit over the next four years. Looking for her... don't see her... 15 mins... still don't... 20 mins. Ok, now I get to board the emotional roller coaster. Where could she be? Well, I raised her to be smart and independent. She's already gotten her schedule I'm sure... probably finding her locker, etc. I'm lonely! I want to be with her! Where is she?? Maybe she doesn't want me to hang with her for this part. Did I want my parents with me for these kinds of events? No. But then, I never got to make that conscious decision... we moved back up to Titusville from West Palm at the last minute, just before school started, no orientation. Anyhow, back to the coaster... I begin thinking that we're never going to connect. Should I just go to the car and wait? No, I don't want her to come out to the car and find me there, and think that I didn't *want* to be with her on this momentous occasion. Ahhh - the torture. On top of it all, I had no phone signal; no texting, no calling. The only way I'd have signal was to go outside - but then I might be missing her walking into the Ref room. Ugh. Now its 30 minutes. I'm a bit beside myself - I really start to worry - what if something's happened to her? What if...?? Eek! I can't go there. I keep thinking that the kids must all be wandering the halls, so I start wandering the halls too... circling the building - found administration - found the media center... and I'm back in the Ref room. Grrr... no kid. I do it again and there she is!!! Thank God! And, ha ha... she did find a friend and they did find their lockers and almost all of their classes already. Giant sigh of relief. And the friend that she found, is a girl from gymnastics from a few years ago... her mom and I got to know each other a bit during gymnastics, so I get to find her (she's hanging outside, waiting on her daughter) and chat with her. So, given that Lauren's OK, and that she found a friend to hang with, I opt for letting them go and finish their thing while I go and catch up with Ellie. :) Good times... whew, and that was the end of that roller coaster ride. Too many twists in that one...