Link tromped with me into the Junior High building. It is a familiar place to me, because Kiki has been attending there for three years. For Link, the building was new. It represented a new and exciting chapter in his life. He took his map and navigated us around the school for a bit. We located the lunch room and the math rooms before the novelty wore off and he was ready to go home. At that point we’d already seen most of what he cares about. I worry for Link attending junior high, and I am excited. I love having the ability to select his classes separately. We can put him into advanced Math and resource English. He signed up for Clarinet. I don’t expect him to like it any better than Kiki did, but I think he will do better with it. He is better at practicing than she was at the same age.
Kiki flopped across my bed and thrust a hand full of papers in my general direction. It was the registration papers for high school. I sat with her and we combed through the class listings, trying to figure out what would be the best fit for her. Next year’s course load will be heavy. We have it on good authority that the Chemistry teacher believes in lots of homework. She’s also taking three honors classes (English, History, & Art.) The Honors classes will expect more from her, but I think she will enjoy them more because the other students will also be focused rather than just filling out graduation credits. The most startling realization for me was all the information on Driver’s Ed. Kiki will be fifteen in May. At that point she will be eligible for a Driver’s Permit. We’ve talked it over and the best fit for us all is for her to take Driver’s Ed next summer, so we have a brief reprieve. It still feels really soon.
I can feel the shifts. Both Kiki and Link are looking forward, selecting classes, making plans. They are both enthusiastic and optimistic. Picking new classes was always one of my favorite parts of school. The possibilities lay right in front of me and the challenges were only theoretical. In the not too far future, Kiki and Link will both reach a day when they are feeling trepidation for things to come. Next Fall will bring days when they feel overwhelmed and buried. The road ahead of us is long. We are going to get tired. But I am excited for them as they contemplate what is coming. We are all standing at the beginning of a path, wriggling our toes inside our shoes, anticipating the first steps.