Going to High School is Not Saying Goodbye {or is it}

Thank you for sharing!

My son is going into the 9th grade and there are just SO MANY changes. I mean, besides the fact that he grew hair on his legs (eep!), he’s talking to girls on Instagram and his first class is going to be JrROTC! My baby is growing up. And I feel like crying. But, Going to High School is Not Saying Goodbye {or is it}? Sometimes, it’s really hard to tell.

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He was only 7 when I met him. All sorts of tiny and cute. He only wore a size 5 clothes and I had to bend in half to give him a hug. Then, something happened. He started eating like a monster, his voice started changing and, overnight, he was headed to High School. Like I was literally driving him up there to do registration and everything.

And, after watching this touching video from Kleenex, all I could think of was how fleeting that time, those four short years would be. And Mike. A friend in High School. Mike got me a tissue, you see. True story. I was sick. I was always sick in High School, always with the runny nose. And Mike, in the middle of a HUGE test in Biology, got up, walked across the room, pulled a Kleenex out of the box sitting a foot away from me on the teacher’s desk and handed it to me.

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At first, I thought Mike was being mean. Then I saw the warm smile he gave me for what it was, as he wiped his own nose with a second tissue. He was helping me. He was showing me empathy–and that we were all in the same boat. And, in that moment, High School suddenly became just a little less hard. A little less scary. And all it took was one soft tissue to make all the difference for me.

I am sending my son to school with Kleenex, like I do every year. But, this year, I am sending him to school with the idea that, if he can, show empathy, try to understand how others are feeling (just like him). I know it will be hard for him to transition into high school. But, just like my little moment with Mike, I think he’ll find some peace in the idea that, under all the bravado teens show, they’re all the same (and all just as scared as the next).

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I’m just so happy to see that this message of empathy is spreading. I mean, Kleenex® brand sponsored a social experiment by researchers at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, that showcases how a single gesture of care and some other strategies can help middle school students face the challenges of a new school year. Personally, I think these strategies would help ANYONE–ALWAYS. You can check out the full social experiment on Facebook or visit Kleenex.com to see how we can spread this message this school year.

Oh, this mom is so right...Going to High School is NOT saying goodbye, but, in some ways, it is. Love this.

Thank you for sharing!

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