My only child, the light in my world, the coolest person I have ever met, has started high school.
Whoa... Wait a second, give me a minute here. I think I need to let that sink into my heart a little longer.
Wow, yeah... Isabelle is in high school now.
Today, Isabelle embarks on what will no doubt be an intense few years at Valle Verde Early College High School (VVECHS). VVECHS is partnered with El Paso Community College (EPCC) where students earn an associates degree in the major of their choice as well as their high school diploma upon graduation - fulfilling 6 years of schooling in only 4. On top of all of that, a certain amount of volunteer hours are required to earn their diploma, as well as involvement in at least one club or organization.
But Isabelle isn't intimidated by any of that. Eric and I are, but Isabelle... not even a little bit.
VVECHS is rated the best high school in all of El Paso and was recognized by U.S News & World Report for being one of the best in the nation! VVECHS has a 100% graduation rate. There are only 100 kids per grade which was about the same size as my graduating class in ancient times when I was her age.
We worry that Isabelle doesn't know how hard, and I'm assuming overwhelming, the next few years will be. The school offers endless resources to help the kids get through, and of course Eric and I are extremely committed to doing whatever we need to to help her too, but we know that there is only so much that any of us can do, and most of it will be on Isabelle's shoulders as we take a step back and let her carry the load mostly alone.
Are her shoulders strong enough? She is smart enough to earn a college degree at the same time as her high school diploma, that's for sure! But she isn't organized at all, like, at. all, and her priorities are typical of a 14 year old girl, so we can't be sure that she knows what she's in for yet. She has a lot to figure out still.
But she will. She'll figure it out, she always does.
I've just recently came to a point in my mothering where I have realized that now is the time that I begin to let her go. Not completely yet, if ever. But little by little as she makes her way towards graduation and becoming an adult, we as parents have to let her go and let her get her barrings on this world. And while it had never occurred to me that this was where I am as a mother until recently, I am completely comfortable with that realization.
But I've still got a lot to figure out too. And I will.... I always do.