Tonight is Back to School Night at Beverly Hills High School. The ritual of sitting in your child’s classrooms, meeting his or her teachers and striving to leave a positive parental impression is as familiar as the clang of the school bell and the decades-old smell of teenage rebellion.
I went through the public school system in Beverly Hills and am a graduate of BHHS. So many of us have moved back to the 90210 some days it feels like I’m still in high school. This is one of those days.
As soon as I pull into the parking lot I’m literally taking the same path I took in 1982 albeit with a much better car. I will climb stairwells and walk hallways waving at fellow BH Moms and Dads, many of whom attended Beverly at the same time as I did. I’ll marvel at how fabulous some of us look and wonder where the time went.
Time has stood still for a few. Jane Wortman, the best math teacher I ever had, is now the BHHS Math Department Chair. I couldn’t be happier for the kids who take her class. Jason Newman, who used to be my College Kid’s Golf Coach, began coaching during my senior year. With all his years of experience, he’s still as enthusiastic and humorous about athletics as the day he first punched a clock at Beverly.
On Back to School Night, with so many friends and acquaintances moving through the school, there’s little choice but to super-accelerate the conversations. How was your summer? Does your son like his classes? Did you hear about the new coach?
Though I’ve never missed a Back to School Night, there have been years when I didn’t relish the thought of spending hours in my sons’ schools, especially after a long workday. Tonight won’t be like that. After tonight, I only have one more Back to School Night. Next year, the micro-conversations will have just one theme: Where is your daughter applying? Where does your son want to go?
Go. Go is a game-changer. Making turkey pitas and checking online grades will be a thing of the past. The familiar family morning routine of bring-your-dishes-to-the-sink-have-a-good-day will probably be over for good, as will the welcome homes and the sweet dreams routines.
I hope somehow that all the loving/arguing/understanding that goes into our parent-son relationship will be like little bulbs planted in our family garden so that the love will keep popping up as regularly as Back to School Nights and all the other taken-for-granted events we attend. At least I’ve got a year to plan ahead for the emotional turmoil of the last Back to School Night.
Hopefully, by then the excitement of college will overshadow the nostalgia of saying goodbye to a place as special as Beverly Hills High School.