I get that sinking feeling . . .
. . . when I think of being the mother of a teenager. Tomorrow is M's first day of high school. I worry about her being able to find her locker and get to class on time. I worry about her getting good grades. Some of the stuff she has to do scares me, like the big community service project she has to come up with for 10th grade and the project she has to present for senior year. I couldn't have done that when I was in high school; I probably couldn't even do it now!
I still have all these fears left over from my own high school years. I was a quirky kid with crooked teeth who didn't get asked out on dates. I ended up hanging out on the fringes of groups who just put up with me, but I don't think anybody really liked me. Even though I live in the same area I grew up in, I don't have a single friend from my high school days.
When we went to orientation last week, I watched M wave at people as we walked through the halls. She was oblivious to the fact that half of them barely gave her a nod. M goes on cheerfully without a thought that some of these people probably don't like her. High school can be a very cruel place. Knowing that someone is going to burst her happiness bubble soon makes my heart sink like a stone.