This marks the last week of our oldest daughter’s freshman year. While at a graduation ceremony this past Saturday, I couldn’t help but think…in three short years, she will be walking across the stage receiving her diploma. I’m pretty sure it was just yesterday she walked through the school doors as a freshman. At the beginning of the year, she had plenty of adversities to overcome, but they were all part of her growing process.

What I Was Not Prepared to Hear

You saying “I hate high school” for the entire first month of school. But you learned to deal with adversity. The first month of your freshman year brought smiles, tears, failure and laughter. Yet when faced with challenges, you learned that hard work, perseverance and learning new things will help you become the best version of yourself.

I have seen you mature in many areas, especially handling stress. Always remember, the best defense against stress is a positive attitude!

What Concerned Me the Most

The late-night one-act play and musical practices worried me, but you kept participating in the fine arts. I realized you were in your element as I saw you perform on the stage during your first one-act. I saw the little girl who did a chicken dance outside of Valentino’s but only around your close friends or who would say “Pa-kuu-pee-chuu” just to make people laugh.

Underneath your quiet exterior is someone who’s quite the extrovert, and letting others see that side of you brings a smile to my face.

What Seemed to Stress You the Most

Every test. Your dad reminds me all the time that you’re exactly like me, as I fretted over grades all the time in high school and college. You developed good study habits and a solid work ethic. All we ask as parents is that you do your best, and we see that day-in and day-out.

We see how much you care about your schoolwork, and we know the academic goals you have set. We’ll continue to encourage you through your high school journey and help meet your level of expectations.

What You Thought Would Be Important

Season records. And you learned from the wins and the losses, the smiles, the fist-bumps with teammates after great plays, the lifelong friendships you’re making, the leadership skills you’re developing and the desire to get better each and every day. These are the most important things that I want you to take away from each new season.

There’s no doubt in my mind that, someday, you will miss this. You’ll miss jumping hurdles, playing in the grass, the smell of the hardcourt, your teammates and your coaches. You’ll also wish you could take one more swing of the bat or slide into home again. But for now, take a deep breath and soak up every minute. You’re blessed to play the game you love.

What Seemed Like an Inconvenience to Me

Whenever you said, ”I forgot this…can you please run home?” or asked me for a snack at 1:45 p.m. every day, you showed you still need your mom! I know I harp on you about responsibility; however, some days, I know you legitimately forget things. I encourage you to keep your planner updated and make a list of things you cannot forget each morning.

What the Typical Evening Around the House Was Like

I was grading projects and preparing for the my next day’s lesson plans, but you learned that I will always put aside time for you. Whether it’s 9:30 p.m., 11:30 p.m., or 12:30 a.m., I will listen or talk. Don’t hesitate to take a break from homework. I will always put aside my work.

And after those late nights, remember I will continue to get up in the middle of the night to shut off your light, put your laptop on the floor and say a quick prayer over you.

What Both You and I Know Is Important

  • Being kind. You have one of the biggest caring and serving hearts. I try to remind you each day, “Attack the day with kindness.” Most people are going to have days that are rough. Just remember a simple smile or a “How’s your day going?” will go a long way.
  • Being you.
  • Showing gratitude.
  • Being a servant leader.
  • Staying true to your values.
  • Being a dreamer.
  • Knowing I love you.

Parents, what did you learn about your child (or your parenting) during this school year? Share with us in the comments!

Shelly Mowinkel

Shelly Mowinkel

K-12 & Teens

My husband and I have three kids. Our oldest is a freshman in high school, and our youngest is in second grade. Most days, I feel like we are a “tag-team chauffeuring” service, yet I wouldn’t have our life any other way. Not only I am a business/technology teacher at Milford, I am also the district technology integration specialist. I love teaching because I get the opportunity to make those around me better. My hope is that, through my blogging, I am able to inspire, encourage, and share with you my adventures of being a wife, mother, and professional.

Other Posts You Might Like...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This