The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 15, 2012

Mike Pound: High school another first for teenager

— It’s just another first.

When you become a parent, there are a lot of firsts. The first tooth. The first wobbly step. The first word. The first day of preschool. The first day of kindergarten. The first arrest.

OK, that last one doesn’t happen all the time, and it’s probably not one that goes into a scrapbook somewhere. But if it did happen, it would qualify as a first.

The point is, when you become a parent, you are constantly faced with another first. Just when you get one first out of the way, along comes another. I don’t know this for a fact, since my wife and I have only one child, but I suspect that when you have multiple children, some of those firsts run together.

I base that on the way my parents handled firsts in my family. I have six brothers and sisters, and I seem to recall that my parents didn’t make as big a deal out of certain firsts as they once did. I seem to recall that on my first day of school, my mom walked into the living room, pointed to those of us who had to go to school and said, “You, you and you. Go to school. The rest of you, stay here.”

At least that’s the way I remember it.

But if you have only the one kid, I suspect you make a bigger deal out of those firsts than other parents. And when I say “you,” I mean my wife.

This morning is our 14-year-old daughter’s first day of high school. I suppose, as firsts go, the first day of high school is a pretty big deal. I’m not sure it’s as big a deal as Emma’s first day of kindergarten, but it’s a big deal nonetheless.

Emma has spent most of the summer either looking forward to high school or not thinking about high school. What she would do is look forward to high school until she got nervous about high school, and when that happened, she would try to not think about high school until some moron would bring it up.

Me: Hey, what are you doing?

Emma: Nothing.

Me: Thinking about high school?

Emma: DAAAAAAAAD!!!!

On Tuesday evening, we dropped by Emma’s high school for an open house. We walked around the school with hundreds of other high school students and their parents and tried to find Emma’s classrooms so we could meet her teachers. Emma’s high school is large. You could fit the entire student body of my old high school into a custodian’s closet at Emma’s school. Earlier this week, Emma and my wife walked through the school when it wasn’t so crowded and found her classrooms. But even with that early visit, Emma still had trouble finding some of her classes Tuesday night.

“I’m sure your teachers will cut you some slack if you’re a few minutes late for class the first few days,” I said.

“Be quiet,” Emma said.

She said that a lot Tuesday evening. She also said, “Would you not talk to my teachers so much?”

Emma was trying to create some sort of impression with her fellow high school students, and clearly I wasn’t helping create the proper impression. That’s OK. Sometimes parents get their own firsts. Tuesday was the first time I embarrassed Emma in her high school.

I’m writing this on Wednesday afternoon. Sometime this morning, I’m sure that Emma, my wife and I will pile into the car and drive to the high school. When we get there, I’m sure Emma will try to slide out of the car before my wife gives her a kiss goodbye. She won’t make it, but she’ll try. Then she’ll walk away from the car and head off to her future.

Where that next first is waiting.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • r072814dogbike.jpg Cross-country trip promotes animal adoption

    Where’s Bixby? Not the town in Oklahoma, but the dog on the back of a bicycle ridden by Mike Minnick. On Monday, the two were in Joplin, one stop on a cross-country bike trip to promote the adoption of dogs and cats from local shelters.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4.3 magnitude quake reported in northern Oklahoma

    The U.S. Geological Survey says an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.3 struck northern Oklahoma on Monday night.

    July 29, 2014

  • Update: 4 workers injured in SE Kansas oil refinery fire

    A Texas company says four workers at a southeast Kansas oil refinery were burned in an early morning fire.

    July 29, 2014

  • Seneca man draws concurrent term in sexual abuse case

    A 39-year-old man who sexually abused a girl over a four-year period in both Joplin and Seneca received a 15-year sentence Monday in Newton County that will run concurrently with a term he received earlier this year in Jasper County.

    July 28, 2014

  • Judge lifts seal on records in Parsons quadruple slaying

    A judge has rescinded his order sealing court records in the case of David Bennett Jr., who is accused of killing a Parsons woman and her three children.

    July 28, 2014

  • Defendant who pulled knife on ER doctor sent for treatment

    A man accused of pulling a knife on a Freeman Hospital West emergency room doctor pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Monday and was sentenced to the state prison system’s Institutional Treatment Center.

    July 28, 2014

  • Wal-Mart to build second local Neighborhood Market

    A second Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market store is planned for Joplin. The company has filed an application with the city to rezone nearly six acres of land on the west side of town in the tornado zone to build a new Neighborhood Market and gas station.

    July 28, 2014

  • r072814mailcar.jpg VIDEO: Train mail car trailered on Joplin's Main Street to Redings Mill

    With a police escort leading the way Monday, postal car No. 34 breezed through downtown Joplin en route to its new home in Redings Mill, where it was greeted by a welcome party of local residents and railroad enthusiasts.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Anti-landfill group seeks grand jury probe

    As more than 200 people filed into Riverton High School on Sunday to attend an anti-landfill group meeting, many stopped to sign a petition asking the Cherokee County District Court to summon a grand jury to investigate how land was acquired by the city of Galena for a proposed landfill.

    July 27, 2014

  • 072814_jd anderson.jpg VIDEO: Noel strongman advances on talent show

    The past week has been busier than normal for Noel resident J.D. Anderson. Members of the production crew for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” told him they have shot more footage of him than of other contestants for the next episode. “They said I have the busiest schedule of anyone this week,” Anderson told the Globe in a phone interview Friday. “There’s so many fun things you can do with B-roll as a strongman.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Given that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that electronic devices and communications are protected from searches and seizure without a warrant, do you think Missouri needs Amendment 9 added to its constitution?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter