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H ere’s something every parent wonders: Where did all the time go? My son, Emerson, just graduated from middle school and is now about to head off to high school.
on Vashon Island, we can’t do that. This is my first time as a mom that I’ve had a real physical distance from Emerson.
While it is a big change and a little bit scary, it’s also a good thing. It’s a healthy distance and gives Emerson a little more independence. At the same time, it gives Mom and Dad time to acclimate to the future. Eventually, Emerson will likely go to college. I kind of hope he goes to college locally, but there’s a good chance he’ll attend school fairly far from home, and we’ll have to live with that distance.
I’m left asking myself, “How did this happen? How did we get to this place where my young man is only four years away from college?”
I appreciate that Emerson is still close to Matt and me as parents. He tells us about things that have him stressed. He tells us about his day. So, while we may have more physical distance between us during the day, he’ll still be there to tell us all about his day whenever he wants. This will be a huge learning experience for Emerson, and it’s going to be exciting. He’s excited to be commuting by ferry and to meet all of his new classmates. That said, it is a little bittersweet for him, as none of his middle school classmates will be joining him; they’re going to different schools. At the end of the day, we’re all excited and nervous. It’s another chance for Matt and me to grow as parents, but more importantly, it’s a chance for Emerson to, slowly but surely, grow from teenager to an adult.
When Emerson starts high school, our family is going to be in quite a unique situation.
Emerson will be going to high school on Vashon Island, and he’ll be taking the ferry to get there.
While there are a lot of people, including schoolchildren, who take the ferry, this is a new one for our family, especially considering it’s happening five days a week. I grew up in New York City, and I have experience commuting for school. I commuted between Queens and the Bronx practically every day, walking, taking the subway, or busing to get to school. Emerson might have it a little easier. We’ll drive him down to the ferry in the morning, and he’ll board with about 300 other kids. On the island, the kids are bused the rest of the way to school. For the last eight years, Emerson was pretty close by, going to school not far from home. If anything happened, we could easily stop by his school and pick him up. Now that he’s going to school
–Dr. Orit Hickman
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