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’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 much 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 eventually, we get to a point where 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!