Tomorrow morning the twins will start their first day of high school.
I’ve been crying off and on all day. I can see how little time we have left. I know how quickly these four years will go by. It’s a few dinners, a couple of vacations, just four more Christmases.
After that, they’ll move on. They’ll come home, but it won’t ever be the same. One morning soon I’ll wake up and they won’t live here anymore. I won’t be able to give them a reassuring hug before a big test. I won’t be able to ease their problems by making their favorite dinner or sneaking them an extra treat. There will be less laundry, less noise, less arguing, and less home.
I would love to sit with them all night and give them advice about high school. There is no chance they’ll listen to me. I don’t blame them, I wouldn’t listen when I was 14 either.
So instead, I’m giving them my advice here. Maybe they’ll read it, stranger things have happened.
Be Brave - High school is hard and kids can be mean. Don’t be afraid to sit alone at lunch or to walk alone to class. Before you know it friends will be sticking to you like magnets. If not, it’s their loss. Don’t let your friends pressure you to do anything you don’t want to do or be anyone but yourself. You don’t need to impress anyone or prove anything to a real friend.
Enjoy The Ride - Go to football games, homecoming, and pep rallies. Show your school spirit. Take part in every cheesy, clichéd, high school event. Toilet paper your friends houses, but never egg them. It’s mean. Same goes for smashing pumpkins, it makes little kids cry.
Be Nice - Especially to your teachers. They spend most of their day dealing with the bad kids, don’t be one. Even if you think the teacher is mean and nasty, be nice. Try to remember that they’re people too.
Don’t tease the nerdy kid, the fat kid, the poor kid, or the special needs kid. I know you won’t always be able to stand up and tell your friends to stop, but at the very least don’t participate. When you have your own children you’ll ache with regret for teasing anyone.
Work Hard - It matters. Every grade, every test from this day on matters. Do your best and good grades will follow.
Eat Right - Just because they serve french fries and burgers every day does not mean you should eat them. Have an apple once in a while.
Remember that it’s a jungle out there. It’s a big, scary world. But once you walk through our door you are always safe and always loved.