Today was the first day of high school in our house. I've been thinking about it for awhile, because it's a big transition in so many ways. I know her experience will be a lot different than mine, with different pressures and stresses as well as different opportunities. (And she doesn't have a parent teaching in her school). These next four years really are the journey to adulthood and independence and the inevitable and necessary separation that comes with that - eventually.
But that's not today. It's not graduation, where all kinds of people say all kind of inspiring things and send you out into the world. Today is the day that's nervous and weird and awkward and crowded. To this dad, today seemed like a milestone too - one that called for some kind of marker. We always need someone in our corner cheering us on, and nobody more so than your parents. It felt important, but I didn't really have a whole lot of wisdom to offer beyond "you got this!"
Nonetheless, I gave it my best shot. A few things that I've tried to live my life by, and not always successfully.
"Keep humble, even as you believe fervently in yourself. Be careful not to mistake confidence for competence. Don't be afraid to reassess your assumptions, for the world changes and so do we as we age. (You may someday even find shrimp and crabs delightful). Sometimes it is better to be kind than to be right, even as we learn to avoid people who take unfair advantage of our kindness. Avoid making decisions in the heat of emotion whenever possible – you may find upon reflection the circumstances and consequences appear quite differently. Write yourself notes now and then, and put them away for in-the-future you to enjoy. Future you deserves her biggest cheerleader too"
Go get em kid. You've got this.