Oh, the sweet sounds of school bells will ring across our town this week, ushering in a new era for roughly 1,500 students who will begin their first year at area high schools and for their roughly 3,000 parents who will watch their worry load grow exponentially over the next few years, including me.
As my firstborn readies her feet to walk through the doors of high school for the very first time, I have readied my head for the next eight solid years of raising high schoolers by drafting a list of rules. Commandments, actually. Feel free to embrace in your own home, as this is a journey no one should have to make alone.
Julie’s 10 Commandments for High School:
Thou shalt eat breakfast, stand up straight and use sunscreen. Your future self will thank you.
Thou shalt not pierce thy tongue nor grow a large hole in thy earlobe. Your future self will thank me.
Honor thy parents’ curfews, rules and love of Bon Jovi. For one day you, too, shall have the privilege of waiting up with worry, asking “Will the parents be there?” and defending your love of all you hold dear on your iPod to people 100 percent dependent on you for food, clothing and shelter.
Thou shalt not inhale, inject, imbibe nor otherwise intake any substance that might damage what few, precious brain cells have been granted you by your Creator during these teenage years.
Thou shalt not frequent detention, cut class or partake in activities including but not limited to those involving plastic wrap, toilet paper or shaving cream, which would allow thee to know thy principal on a first-name basis.
Thou shalt not post online that which could come back to bite thee, remembering that every photo snapped will eventually find its way to my inbox. For the Internet is both a blessing and a curse to your formative years.
Thou shalt not covet thy classmate’s designer handbag; thou shall not covet thy classmate’s new car.
On a related note, thou shalt find thy own source of income.
Thou shalt be happy with a single. For a double can easily stretch to a triple, and any runner on third will most definitely try to steal home. So just be happy on first.
Thou shalt remember that for better or worse, high school only happens once. And one morning, before you are ready, you will look in the mirror and wonder where the teenager who used to reside in it has gone. So speak kindly, turn in your homework on time and know the most fun and the most miserable moments will eventually pass.
Above all, fill these years with memories that will make your heart race with glee but none that will appear on your permanent record.
Good luck parents and students, and especially to the teachers who will help us through it all.