Last night, I took Joshua (JJ), my 14 year old 8th grader, to rising 9th grader night at the local high school. I was very excited, and a bit nervous, for him to be starting this phase of his life. But high school can be so rewarding and such a special time with special people. You learn a lot. You grow a lot. You become a lot of who God made you to be.
I'm sorry to say that I sit here now understanding no more about high school that I did yesterday. When I was in high school (many moons ago), it was fairly simple. You need certain classes to graduate, take some electives, a language, and when you are a senior, if you have achieved, you can take the AP core classes. (There were 4 AP classes.) Now there are 26 AP classes, pre AP classes, CP classes, pathways, academies.....HUH????? I want him to learn, prepare for college, and have fun all at the same time. I don't believe that college level decisions should be put on a 14 year old. I also don't like the emphasis put on class rank. I want him doing well for himself, not because he is jockeying for position with his friends or people he doesn't even know.
He's smart. I want him to succeed, go to college, find what God has for him and live the full, abundant life that Jesus has offered. It just seems like so much emphasis has been put on outdoing everyone else. It seems to be a competition. Which, if you think about it, is quite funny because competition was never allowed when they were younger. Trophies for everyone! No keeping score! Thankfully I believe that Steven and I have raised him, all 3 of our boys, with the right amount of competition and compassion; success and silliness. Our lifestyle and teachings remain consistent regardless of how the world that surrounds them changes.
In a nutshell, I gave all the written info to JJ and told him to read it, learn and understand it and do what he believes is best. His teachers from 8th grade will recommend him for certain classes, but I have override authority. I want him to work hard, but not have to work so hard that he can't enjoy his teenage years. He brings home a registration sheet next Tuesday. (Yes! Already for next year!) We'll just prayerfully go from there.
On a more personal note, my emotional eating has gotten the best of me. 2-3 years ago I lost almost 30 pounds. It has slowly, but surely, found me again. From Zach's ADD and first year of middle school to the possibility of Elijah having autism or something similar.....I have gotten out of control. Starting now (meaning tomorrow morning) I will endeavor to get a hold on my emotional eating. I pray that God will help me find another way to find comfort, enjoyment, pleasure, or whatever it is I may be looking for at the time. I'm very disappointed in myself. I worked so hard to lose the weight only to have it come right back. Needless to say that my self esteem is not so great right now and that is affecting many other parts of my life.
So, here it goes. Don't be afraid to ask me how I'm doing.