The Girl had been admitted to our school systems performing arts program, by auditioning for orchestra on viola. The program is housed at a different high school than the one that middle school fed into and her brother had attended. With the exception of a few girls she knew from a city wide summer academic program she was heading off to school without any of her friends. Moreover, due to her time commitments for orchestra she had decided to give up dance; thus she was shifting her identity from "dancer" to "musician".
The Boy, meanwhile, had chosen a school a 3 hour drive from home, in another state; thus allowing him to put some distance (but not too much) between school and family. His last spring and summer at home had its own brand of chaos, as he navigated college offers, finished classes, tried to complete his Eagle Scout Requirements, worked all summer at the scout camp, finished his last season of baseball, and tried to get all the things he needed for his first semester of school. Somehow, with a lot of help, he managed the juggling act, including having his Eagle Project finish 4 whole days before the 18th birthday cut off.
I'm happy to report that both did well this year, each surmounting a few challenges along the way--with good grades, extra curriculars, new friends, and teachers who seem to like them.
So September beckons again, and now they both are Sophomores, veterans of the scholastic trenches as it were.
The Girl started back to school with all the drama of screwed up schedules, over packed classrooms, last minute summer reading assignments (as in she was finishing them up last week--she got the assignments in June) and the usual quest to color co-ordinate her notebooks and folders. But she survived that first week (which was exactly 2 days long, since they went back on Thursday) and now has had a 3 day weekend to recuperate.
All week the kitchen and dining room had filled with all the Boy's treasures and necessary items: TV, coffee pot, clothes, drinks and snacks, school supplies and text books. Sunday we loaded up the car for an early start. One difference this year--the Boy drove going to the school, a relief to his dad who only had to make the return trip.
So now they both are Sophomores--1 year down and 3 to go in their respective schools. Both have more schooling ahead. The boy is already considering grad schools, the girl is looking at dozens of colleges and majors, her choices change almost daily.
Both have a long way to go--and no doubt many twists and turns along the way, but so many kids their ages see only dead ends, or can't even find the road at all. At least these two are both studying the map.