June 6, 2013

Coffee and the Urban Dictionary

Every phase of motherhood brings its challenges and joys.  Every. single. phase.
My oldest child is entering high school next year and I feel like I am putting on hiking boots and stepping into unknown territory; or maybe putting on my fireproof suit and grabbing my flame thrower.  Potatoes, pototoes.
8th grade graduation breakfast

We celebrated our last day of school in style.  I was an emotional kangaroo bouncing from elation to tears.  Elation that summer break has arrived; tears because it was the last day I will ever homeschool my oldest child.  Sigh.  Where is the chocolate?  I need some pronto.
Last day of school 2013

Since my child will be going from homeschool to the second largest public high school in our county, I may be freaking out a bit.  Yes, I know she can handle it.  I know she's well rounded and will do great.  BUT.  But it is the idea of throwing my lamb in with the wolves that has me undone.  The problem is that I remember high school well.  I remember the lewd comments from not-so-gentlemanly boys.  I remember thinking that my parents didn't even know what french kissing was.  I remember too much.

And yet, here I am.  The MOTHER of a HIGHSCHOOLER!!!  I think that should be a cuss word.  Take that, you mother of a highschooler!  How did I get here?  I thought I was just getting the hang of the wonder years and preteen years.  Heck, didn't I just get married?

I am facing a year of letting go.  For goodness sakes, I had to let go of my youth this year when I "turned old."  The fact that I am slowly stepping out of the mommy spotlight for my daughters hit like a ton of bricks this week.
Brick #1: I was asked to go to their youth camp on the Mom Squad.  Their looks of horror and disdain was my first indication that our relationship might be changing.  I guess my coolness is no longer appreciated.  
Brick #2: I took my daughter and a friend to the mall this week... on a Saturday night. (enough said, right?)  I was wise enough to give them space and not be all up in their business but close enough to give the "mom look" to some googly eyed boys with their pants hanging down past their plaid boxers.  But then it hit me.  I'm the mom and they are the teen shoppers.  Shouldn't I be pushing a stroller and drooling over the Baby Gap window?  Why was that such a hard pill to swallow??
Sweet girls with their candle scent of choice.  Mine chose the one that smelled like a cute boy.  Sigh.
Brick 3: While at said mall, the cute twenty-something girl that served our Starbucks was a former student of mine.  Yes.  I taught her 4th grade the year I was pregnant with my soon-to-be high schooler.  Where's my cane?

So I did what every other normal freaking-out-mother would do.  I called my bestie for drinks.  We're wild: coffee for me and tea for her.
She just completed her first year as a M of a H.S. so she's totally in the know.   As I pelted her with questions I drooled over her breakfast choice.

After a 2 hour caffeine injection she brought me back around to reality.  Reminding me that it's going to be hard, but we're going to make it.  And that we'll grow old together.  Um, I think we've already hit that milestone.  

Anyhoo, I looked at her in all seriousness and said, "I have an important question for you."  She was expecting a deep, spiritual question but this is what she got:
"What does S.W.A.G mean?"
The only swag I know about is the free stuff Meg's sponsors give away on craft weekends.  I got a clue that it had a hidden meaning when I noticed it screen printed on a shirt in an urban themed store at the mall.
After she recovered from laughing, she realized I was dead serious.
I need to be in the know.  I need to know what the cool phrases are if I want to have intelligent conversations with my daughter, come August.
So my M of a HS friend whipped out her iphone and said, "there's an app for that."  We pulled up SWAG on the Urban Dictionary.  Yes, totally rockin our M of HS coolness at the coffee house.
Apparently there are many definitions of SWAG, but "free stuff from craft weekend" didn't make it to the Urban Dictionary.  There were some ugly words and ridiculous slang terms, but overall we learned that SWAG really means "appearance, style, or the way he or she presents them selves."  My favorite definition was "Something We All Get tired of hearing."
Let me be very clear.  I do not recommend the Urban Dictionary.  It is filled with nastiness and profanity.  Over our coffee, my friend and I decided it would not be an app to download, but we at least answered the question of the day.


Katie said...

I am craking up! As the mother of a PRE-schooler I have a long time (not so long time) to deal with this. BUT it still scares the living daylights out of me! LOVE your blog :)

Tracey said...

You have many friends treading water in the 'fade into the background while teen takes the stage' pool.

Me and my girl high schooler were shopping and picked out the same pair of heels..different colors. We agreed that we could both buy the shoes, but had to coordinate when I would 'wear' them and when she would 'rock' them. sigh. ;)

Precious R is going to do just fine..and her mom will survive this. I promise.


Sharon Gravley said...

So curious! Have you always planned to not homeschool in high school, or did she make the decision? I am homeschooling mine and one is headed towards middle school faster than i'd like (4th grade coming up- so 2 more years). I'm afraid of homeschool high school (what if i'm too dumb), and he so wants to go to public school. HELP!!!!

Sharon Gravley said...

So just curious. Have you always planned to not homeschool for highschool, or did she make the decision or what? My oldest is heading towards middle school faster than i'd like and wants to go to public school. I am afraid of highschool homeschool (what if i'm too dumb?) So what made your decision?

mabru4him said...

You a mother of a high schooler? You on the Mom Squad? O my goodness! I remember when Paul sang a solo to you during Impact at Camp Awanita and you hurt yourself going on the Jeep ride up the mountain! I remember when he proposed to you!! Golly, NOW I really feel old! But I am proud of you and the beautiful wife and mother you have become. You'll live through it....your mom and I did! :)~ Willie

Joy for the Seasons said...

Love your transparency. And your use of the urban dictionary. ;)

Chelsea said...

Gretchen you crack me up! And for the record...I think you are a totally cool mom. I well remember "acting" super embarrassed to have my mom around during my teen years, but I was secretly proud that she cared enough to stick close when my friends' moms couldn't care less. Hugs, friend!

Lori said...

I'm curious, what made you make the decision to send her to public school and not continue home schooling?

debbie said...

Let me just say -- and I only found you through your comment on Meg's blog -- you NEED the Urban Dictionary. Don't browse in there -- just use it for definitions. smh - means "shaking my head" -- that was my most recent "ah ha: :) And yes, Meg's SWAG is "stuff we all get"

I HATE high school. Extremely stressful. I always thought I'd like it so much more, but your kids no longer do what you say. Then a driver's license comes into play and the rope gets much longer. All the work you've done to this point will be on display. It is the other kids, most very "entitled feeling", and weak parenting that contributes to the stress. Just keep all your lines of communication WIDE open, and continue to teach and teach and teach. Parent more than you judge and do not be afraid to tell you kids what you are afraid of. They usually let you know what you should worry about and what is "nothing" to them. The 4 years go by so fast you cannot imagine. And the college years go by even faster. I've only 1 year of HS left. And we are in an all girls' Catholic school -- highly academic and college prep. Yep - still scary.

Sorry -- a lot of input from a total stranger! Just be spiritual, a strong parent, and hold onto your women friends! You need all of them!

Kellieab said...

I am always checking in our your blog, though I've only commented on it a couple of times. However I definitely felt the need to comment here. Though my children are younger than yours, I felt like I could relate. My oldest is in 4th grade and my youngest is starting Kindergarten this year. While I know that Kindergarten is a far cry from high school, I feel the panic of letting my little lamb go amongst the wolves all the same. While I know its necessary and healthy, it still breaks my heart . Glad I can follow your blog and see the perspective of a mom just a few steps ahead of me.

Home by Heidi said...

found your blog! darling home!!! What is the paint color of your front door?

efulk said...

<3 ya!

Denise said...

sounds like you and i are cut from the same cloth, and that you are also (as my daughter calls me) "sentimentally ill."

my oldest went to hs this last year (also from home schooling). i have another joining him mid aug.
please send chocolate, kleenex, and large sunnies to cover my ugly cry face. :-)