Nobody prepared me for life as mom to a high schooler, and since there’s nothing else on the internet that addresses it, I’m going to talk about it as part of a sponsored post for #CollectiveBias and their advertiser. #EraseStress
I’ll never forget the day Styles started kindergarten. He had his platinum blonde hair spiked up in the front and green Chuck Taylors on his feet. Everything else seems green to me in that memory, camo colored, but I know that’s not how we roll. My memory must want to camouflage the way I was feeling that day as he ran down the hallway, enormous backpack bouncing on his back, excited to start the day, with not even so much as a backwards glance in my direction. I remember feeling pride, not sadness. I was so proud of my little then-four year old, old-souled little boy who was going to thrive in school.
I blinked that day. No tears, but I did blink, and when I opened my eyes after that split second, my excited little buddy was a freshman in high school. Unlike kindergarten, I wasn’t ready for the flood of emotions that carried me away when we stepped into his new high school for orientation. The cheerleaders in their short skirts, the faculty in their Floridawear, a pair of beaded glasses holders, a strict tenured Biology teacher, and a humorous Geometry teacher – the emotions bubbled up into my throat and threatened to well up inside my eyes and consume my face.
As we walked from room to room and met each teacher, I became more sure of the fact that Styles is going to thrive in high school. He’s one of those kids that does really well with adults, maybe not so well with kids his own age. He’s a little overwhelming for a lot of other teenagers who haven’t learned that the sun doesn’t revolve around them, and that it’s OK to have differences, and it’s also OK to tell someone you really aren’t interested in what they have to say as long as you do it with a little bit of tact. He’s one of those kids I always thought would hit his stride in college, but it could happen here in high school, and I hope it does.
After a bout with bullying at the end of last year, I want to spread the word about bullying where I can and let everyone know there’s a difference between childhood roasting and a real bully. By the grace of all things holy, Styles doesn’t have any classes with his bully this year. I hope that as he builds a new tribe in high school and comes into his own, he realizes his worth and how great he is. It is my hope that the same small boy who bounded through the halls of Ketterlinus Elementary School toward his destiny, so sure of himself, can emerge victorious out of middle school and into high school.
We’re well on our way to having a successful high school career, because I’ve realized I have to give him a hand in learning how to be organized, and we have a teacher, who from the word “go”, told her students what it takes to be successful in her very difficult class. I couldn’t give Styles the study habits he needed to succeed, but she was able to, and I am eternally grateful. We’ve implemented a planner so he never forgets what his homework is, and we sat down for two hours together the night before school started, and organized all of his binders for each class. He prefers writing with a pen, but his handwriting is atrocious, and I’m not sure I want to entrust him with white out just yet. I have flashbacks of painting my fingernails white during Algebra class when I think of white out. Not that he’d do the same, but you catch my drift? I was overjoyed, albeit a little skeptical, when we found the Pilot FriXion Clicker pens at Target during our massive three-child-back-to-school-shopping spree.
Do you guys remember the “erasable” pens from our day? Where they just kinda smeared the pen all over the paper? Yeah, these aren’t like that. I wish I had Styles’ reaction on video, because he assured me pens don’t erase and that it would just smear the ink around. When he erased the pen completely from the paper the first time he used it, you’d think Criss Angel was standing in front of us performing some sort of death-defying magical feat. It was hilarious.
From 8/23 – 8/29 20% off: FriXion Clicker pen 3pk Assorted and FriXion Clicker pen 3pk Black
To firmly cement my excitement about these (truly) erasable pens, I’m excited about how Pilot has taken the initiative to STOMP Out Bullying. STOMP Out Bullying is the leading national bullying and cyberbullying prevention organization. They help build awareness and fund educational programs designed to reduce and prevent bullying in schools across the country.
When you purchase Pilot’s FriXion Clicker erasable gel ink pens, you can help Pilot (and me) support and fund STOMP Out Bullying programs to ‘erase’ negative bullying behaviors, and rewrite positive, productive solutions. Pilot will be making a minimum $125,000 donation to these programs spanning 2015 and 2016. If annual sales are exceeded, additional funds will be donated, so please look for the STOMP Out Bullying logo and purchase these products to help eradicate bullying.
Now let me show you how I erase stress Old Skool, by helping Styles keep his books protected with this old school paper bag book cover, with a 2015 twist.
Old Skool Book Cover Tutorial
Start by laying your paper bag (or butcher paper, as it were) out flat, then laying your open book on top.
Make creases on all four sides of the book by folding the paper upwards.
Remove book and fold the top and bottom sides up. With a piece of Duck Tape, tape the edges to reinforce them for wear and tear.
Put the book back onto the paper, and open it so that all of the pages are to the right side of the book, with the front cover still open. Cut the paper so that about 3″ remains on each side.
Fold the side over the cover of the book by sliding the cover into the space the folded paper makes. Repeat for opposite side.
Use a permanent marker to mark the class name on the binding of the book.
Now your student can write assignments or other reminders on the cover of the book with their FriXion erasable pens, and erase them at will. Now if I could just get him to carry his Jansport backpack over one flannel-shirted shoulder while he clomps around campus in some standard-issue Doc Martens, I’d be a really happy Old Skool high school mama.