Last week at our writer’s meeting at work, my boss asked me what else was happening in my life – we always end our writer’s meetings that way, since the writers actually interact very little during the week.

I told the team that Kelsea was starting high school on Monday.  And they all said, “Awwwww, are you okay???”

I thought that was a perfectly bizarre reaction.  Am I okay?  Of course I am okay.  Why would I NOT be okay?  It’s not as if I’M starting high school (again… if I were, then I probably would not be okay).

When I started high school, back in the age before cell phones, computers, electricity, fire, etc., it wasn’t that big a deal for me. I went to a small school, and was with the same people I’d been in school with since kindergarten.  The most significant thing was that I finally got to change campuses.

It’s different for Kelsea.  She’s been to a K-8 school, so there was a certain similarity, in that she had been with a lot of the same kids for a long time, and in the same building all of those years.  And she was absolutely sick of it.  It’s been great how excited she’s been about starting high school.  She’s always wanted to go to this school, ever since her older cousins went there.

Of course, she had a day or two of anxiety when she found out that she didn’t know a soul in any of her classes – and she had really been looking forward to going to class with her friends.  But that has ebbed. She’ll still see her friends.  Even though she’s a bit shy, she’ll make new friends.  She seems to do that quite well – much better than she gives herself credit for. And I heard something today that I’d never heard from her before: her talking to her friends about what they were going to wear tomorrow.

This weekend, we went clothes shopping for her – new jeans and T-shirts (almost all from thrift shops, where things are stylish, unique, and inexpensive.)  We had a great time together.  I love it when she wants new clothes, because it so seldom happens.  And we found the absolute BEST thing of all: a pair of teal green genuine Converse high-tops (that fit both of us) for $5!

Our new shoes

We were so excited.  She’s wearing them now, as she’s wandering around for a last hurrah with Uber-Cool Will. I believe they are off to the mall to buy glow-in-the-dark shoelaces and a mustache belt (don’t ask – I’m not sure.)

Her schedule is such that it will be tough for her to stay with me at all during the week.  We may work it out – we’ll just have to see.  Which means I’ll miss her.  And I’ll (finally) really be here at the Bungalow alone (except for the cat who isn’t really mine).

Sat cat sitting

I don’t know if it’s that realization that’s got me a little verklempt, or if it is as my co-workers inquired, that I am suddenly “not okay” – that I am undergoing a realization that my little girl is really growing up, that she will always be my little girl, but that we’ve only got four years worth of weekends and summers together until she’s off on her own.  I suspect there’s a bit of that playing into my feelings.

These days, though, I am not borrowing trouble.  I am so happy that she’s happy, excited, and who she is.  My feelings are about me letting go and moving on, which is the story of my life these last few years.  Maybe it’s the story of all of our lives from the day we leave the womb.  I don’t really know.

I know I feel pretty lucky to be sitting on my own front porch, writing, fending off mosquitoes, listening to my wind chimes, a glass of wine at hand. It’s a far cry from where I thought I’d be now, if I ever even thought this far into my own future, when I started high school.  Or at this time last year, for that matter. “God made the world round so we could not see too far down the road.”  Truly, I never saw this.

The View From My Front Porch

What I do know with an absolute certainty is that I am blessed to have such a cool human being as my daughter in my life.

Kelsea and Blossom