Shortly after they kids return from Christmas vacation, I got a note inviting John, Kristyn and I to a high school parent information night.
I was so happy!
Okay, seriously. I picked my jaw up off the floor and wiped back the tears that started to flow once I realized that my daughter was starting high school. Then I walked to the fridge and looked for some beer.
That parent night was last night. Kristyn had already toured the school and participated in some classes thanks to a grade eight orientation day last week, so she was old hat. John and I walked through those doors as green as any parent can get. I was sure the principal would be on to us as soon as he saw us.
We made our way into the cafeteria and found some seats. It wasn't that easy. As soon as we walked in John went straight for the last row, behind the audio visual equipment. I grabbed him by his collar and forced him closer to the front with me - Kristyn had already found her friends and distanced herself from the arguing idiots behind the Powerpoint station.
Slowly our friends and their daughters walked in (there was a serious shortage of male babies in 1996!) and seated themselves with us. John surrounded himself with his friends and I kid you not, he got a stare from the gym teacher. A stare that is clearly used on disruptive fourteen year olds, which as it happens, I was seated right next to. So I gave him the look I reserve for my disruptive seven year old.
After a blessedly brief presentation, we were split into groups and given a tour of the school. The first stop was a room where the vice-principal explained the new high school curriculum. I was so pleased because I had a tonne of questions. When I went to high school there were thirteen grades and none of this "destination based" course level stuff.
And yes, I did raise my hand enthusiastically from the front row. Several times. My husband made fun of me and called me a keener, but I wanted the principal to know just how awesome I am. If that makes me a keener, then so be it. She answered my questions, which she said were excellent questions (ha!) and we were able to move on, only slightly behind schedule.
We were led through the school by some very cute peer guides. It was great to see the whole school and tour the classrooms. I sat close to the teachers in each room, with the exception of the math and science room. This is where the differences between John and I become clear. He sat right up front in that room and I'm surprised he didn't bring his Big Bag Bachelor of Science (Math) with him - or at least where his big leather Carleton University jacket. I'm sure it didn't even occur to him until then. He'll find a way to work that in at some point in the sixteen years we will have kids there.
I was struck by how easy this school makes the transition from elementary to secondary for its students. Kristyn is going to have a great first year and it's going to be fun to watch her experience it. She has her eye on a few clubs and many sports teams. I can tell she is excited, but she is reserved like her father, so I only had a slight twinkle and raised eyebrow to go on. She appreciates my enthusiasm, but I think I was getting annoying on the ride home. I kept turning around and saying "So!!? SOOOO!??? What did you think!?" She tolerates me like her father does. It's all I ask.
I'm excited for her because I liked high school. It wasn't the best years of my life, but I had fun and some days I would kill to go back there. Only I'd know what I know now of course!