I know I am not the first parent to be awed at the fact that my first born is headed into high school. But it is the first time it’s happened to me, so bear with me!
It was just a few years ago that I brought Luke home from the hospital. How can he already be walking into a high school?? And yet, he is and he seems to be genuinely excited to be attending Mahtomedi High School. We went through the registration process last week.
I am so proud of him for wanting to do better this year. He has a much better attitude heading into school, so I am hoping and praying that the attitude will overcome the bad habits. With that in mind, I decided to do something to mark this time for him.
On Saturday, it was just Luke and I in the house all day, so I prepared a little “rite of passage” for him. I won’t share all the nitty-gritty details, but will give an overview for anyone else that might want ideas.
First, we watched a movie together. The movie was “Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life”. I had watched it the night before and I give this movie very high marks! The main character is about to turn 13 and his mom had set up a very intricate adventure for Jeremy to help him discover the important things of life as he becomes a teenager. What really drew me to this movie is that Jeremy’s dad has passed away five years earlier, and yet she did what she could to help fill in the gaps of dad not being there. I have always wanted to see our boys have some of these coming-of-age experiences with Tim. Since he is not able to do them with the boys now, it was inspiring for me to see this mom making it happen for her son anyway.
After the movie, we talked about why I felt this movie was important. Then I had four special gifts to give to Luke to help remind him of four important things to remember as he maneuvers through high school. They are:
* a compass. We talked about how a compass will always help you find your way. Then I compared this compass to his Bible and we talked about how the Bible will always point him to “true north.”
* people cut outs. Next we did an activity together. I had purchased tagboard cutouts of people from Lakeshore Learning. We sat down and thought of all the people that he can lean on for help and support as he goes through high school. Each cutout got one person’s name on it. Then we created a poster of all the people and put it up in his room. Now, when he goes to bed at night, he will see all these different people that he knows are praying for him and are available for him anytime he needs help.
* a watch. Even though this is like the zillionth watch I’ve given him, I gave him a new watch. This is to remind him to set aside time to serve other people. It is so important for us to take our eyes off ourselves and look at others to see how we might be able to help someone else.
* a character calendar. I have a 31-day list of character virtues that I pray for my kids on a regular basis. I took that list and created a really fun and colorful calendar for Luke to see, not only what I pray for him, but also that he can pray for himself and work on each day.
Then we finished our time by heading up to Outback Steakhouse for a wonderful steak dinner. If you have ever thought about doing something like this – I would say Go For It. It wasn’t as elaborate as I would have liked, but it was something. And it was completely worth it. I don’t know how many times Luke said thank you afterward! It meant a great deal to him to know that I had gone out of my way to mark a new beginning in his life.
It’s official: I now have a high schooler!