Ella is starting high school. I am taking the opportunity to really get to know her community and friends and their parents. I’ve spent the last 3 school years so much on the periphery, and it has been awkward and awkward. I only knew about 2 parents and always felt like a weirdo at events. And there have been a lot of them.
Being a step parent is a little like being an immigrant to the foreign country of your new child’s life. You have no idea what the customs and traditions of this new place are, and you desperately don’t want to mess it up. It’s easily one of the most challenging things I’ve done. But it is not the most challenging parenting I’ve done. It’s just different.
So yesterday I drove her to an orientation and listened while she got herself all hyped up and had her outfit all perfect. Suddenly it’s important to shower daily (thank you God) and change clothes.
I helped her get in and settled while also giving her that “present but not tooooo present” thing parents of fledgling adolescents know too well. Then I left her and returned later. Her school had 1:1 iPads and she couldn’t leave with the iPad without the cover. So we booked home to get the just delivered cover we bought online and hustled back to school.
Then I had my class meet up for school and then another event and then another event for Ella’s School-an Ice Cream Social/parents have to listen to a long presentation about the school. I got in the batter box and just hunkered down. I had done so much, and I was just relieved that I had not had school today as well.
But this is how parents roll, isn’t it. We work our butts off.
I’m going to be there to cheer this kid on, to be present but not too present, and to help her grow. She was a teeny tiny new 6th grader when I met her, all into being seen. She had a side hustle back then of saving all the gum and mints she got Tom to buy her at Dari Mart and selling it in her sweater at a mark up at her Catholic School.
She’s an original folks. And ready.