Yep, my 14 year old is heading off to high school and I am terrified. Now, I know for a man of faith that should be an oxymoron but it’s not for me. I’m nervous. She’s going to, what I believe, one of the best public charter high schools in the country. I know the school intimately and I’m confident it is the best thing for our family.

The daily travel will be the greatest inconvenience. There are little nuances about the strict discipline culture that I have upheld as a colleague, and now, that I also have to do as a parent. After all, what parent doesn’t want discipline and excellence for their child.

My greatest concern is that she’s not used to going to school daily. Don’t get it twisted, she’s a social butterfly. Her hybrid homeschool program has come to an end since completing 8th Grade. We would have loved to have kept her in the program but administrative changes over the last year were excruciating and we had to come up with better options for her. My greatest concern is that she’ll be exposed to a different set of teenagers from a variety of backgrounds. Oh wait, she does that now. OK, this is all about me.

I’m nervous about her liking boys. I’m nervous about bullying. I’m nervous about living in this great but flawed city and how gun violence may have a more prevalent impact on her psyche. She’s getting older and we’ve put her in an educational system that will push her to excel, push her to achieve, and push her to invest in her own future.

It’s easy for us as parents to be an impact on other young people. We often struggle with those within our own homes. I don’t experience that much but I’m hoping and I’m praying that this move will be covered by the Lord and that she will flourish. My job is to make sure I don’t put any of my expectations on her that are overbearing and will go against Ephesians 6.

Parents have so much to worry in the daily going of inner-city life. We don’t want our kids on public transportation. We’re scared to let them outside to walk to the store. But exposure in high school and all that comes with it is key. I should be optimistic but I’m not, I should be excited but I’m not. I have great trepidation but only prayer and continued great parenting will alleviate my ISMS!!!

I’ll leave what my wife shared with our daughter as she frowned walking towards her new school. “You can make this a joyful experience or a miserable experience, you have the power, you make the choice.” Thank you wifey, I’ll keep that advice for myself.