Goodbye High School.

It is done. High school is officially over for my oldest child. This isn’t going to be the tear-jerking, photo-heavy post you usually see around graduation time, because that isn’t how Kayley’s high school career ended. Believe me, there have been tears! And drama. But no pomp and circumstance. No cap and gown. No photo slideshow, sheet cake, or signatures in a guest book. And now that we’re finally past all of it, I’m not sure who is breathing the bigger sigh of relief, Kayley or us! Kayley - Senior Year

Kayley’s had mountains of difficulty throughout high school – she’s dealt with everything from bullying to depression to alopecia. She’s had shitty teachers and amazing teachers. She’s gotten into trouble and she’s done things that made us proud. And, plot twist: this wasn’t actually going to be Kayley’s senior year. We knew at the beginning of the year that she didn’t have enough credits to graduate, so she was planning to go back next year to finish. Unfortunately, things took a bad turn in December when Kayley fell and broke her leg, resulting in her missing A MONTH of school. How do you catch up from that? Even with a few understanding teachers, it proved to be impossible. Around mid-semester, the school counselors called us in for a meeting, and let us know that if she wasn’t passing all of her classes, they wouldn’t offer her a 5th year option. In other words, she couldn’t come back next year. ::insert sad trombone sound::

Honestly, I was a little bit relieved. High school sucks. It might have been awesome for you. It might be awesome for your kids. But for most of the population, high school is a big fat drag. A lot of kids truly struggle – those who are not star athletes, or prom royalty. The kids who try to blend in, but get pushed around for being different. Some kids never quite find their group or their niche or their tribe. And lots of these kids struggle with depression, or they’re just trying to figure out who they are. And for most of the population, high school doesn’t even MATTER. When was the last time you had to show somebody your diploma?

The minute you throw your cap in the air, nobody gives a shit about high school anymore. And that’s FINE. When your child is struggling, and hurting, and just truly suffering, all you care about as a parent is getting them BETTER. I’m so thankful that Kayley is in a better place right now, mentally and psychologically, it doesn’t matter to me a bit that I didn’t get to send out grad announcements and senior pics. A couple of weeks ago, Kayley took the GED test, and passed it with incredibly high scores. She’s done. Whatever comes next for her, she’s managed to get past this stage of life – and even though she took an unconventional route, she still got there. And I’m very proud of her!


  1. Many people get GED’s, go on to community college, then University, end up with great carreers, families, etc and are just fine! :). Congrats to Kalyle!

    1. Laura says:

      Yep – I think she’ll be just fine.

  2. Amber says:

    I’m so glad for her and you. It truly sounds like the best option for your family.

    1. Laura says:

      Yes, definitely! Thanks, Amber.

  3. Lisa says:

    Just as we have all learned with patenting, there isn’t one right way to do something as long as the end result is no harm to your child.

    I commend Kayley for sticking with it. Perseverance is a fabulous trait to have. Congratulations and Much love to you both. <3.

    1. Laura says:

      Thanks, Lisa – hopefully we’ll be better at this by the time the other four hit high school – but maybe this is just breaking us in for navigating high school with Pablo, who knows? LOL!

  4. Melissa says:

    Way to go Kayley! I love that you finished, your own way, and you can move on to great things. Continue to forge your path, and know that you have people rallying behind you! Way to Laura, for being an awesome mom!

    1. Laura says:

      Thanks, Melissa! You know Kayley’s going to do fabulous things. She’ll make her way!

  5. Daria says:

    Congrats Kayley!! And Mama too 🙂

  6. Amy says:

    Congratulations to Kayley!!

    Having an almost 19 year old who has chosen not to go to college, I can relate to this post a bit as a parent. I know the decision was the right one for my child just like you know this was the right decision for yours. Yet, people still expect kids to follow a molded path and can say some hurtful things when they don’t “follow the rules”. And I know it’s all my crap that makes me feel like I need to explain to people why it’s okay that my kid isn’t going to college, but it still annoys me. 🙂 Our kids need us to be supportive and care about their happiness and emotional well-being over all else. I know I’m doing that & I know you are, too. xoxo

  7. Janelle says:

    This post actually made me cry. First off, Kayley I’m proud of you for all that you have accomplished. Great job kid! Laura, thank you for putting into words what a lot of us feel. Breanna would have graduated this year if it weren’t fotr the many obstacles she’s faced. The 2013 graduation time has been extremely hard for me. As a parent seeing all of the other parents gleaming and being so proud I just feel jealousy. Why couldn’t *I* get that experience? And then there’s also a huge amount of guilt that goes along with it. Feeling like my daughter didn’t get that experience because I screwed something up with her. But you are correct. This is not the biggest deal in the world. Maybe it just wasn’t what worked for her. All that matters is that she comes out ok in the end. Love you. 🙂

  8. Cindy says:


    I’m so proud of you, and of Kayley. She’s overcome a LOT in her high school career, and you know what? She has learned real life experience of how to problem-solve, how to find another solution, how to pick herself up again. I can think of so, so, SO many people who come out of high school, college, and life in general without those skills. Kayley has learned at a young age that you really CAN make lemonade when life gives you lemons…and it’s OK!!!

    I’m really excited about the pathway she’s on! Heck, I’m 41 years old and am kind of on the same path myself! I think you and your kids are awesome, and I wish I was there to give you all a big hug.

  9. Julie says:

    I’m proud of both of you!!

  10. Jess says:

    Congrats to Kayley!! Hard to believe how fast these kids are growing up. It’s awesome that she has a great, supportive family standing behind her! She will do great.

  11. kay says:

    Nothing wrong with getting a GED, in fact, it sounds like the RIGHT thing for Kayley!!! Congratulations!!!!

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