Back to School Ode

I dreaded going back to school when I was in high school. I dreaded it because I was pushed off the shore in my little boat into the sea of life all alone, without a map, without oars, without a life jacket, without anything really.

I won’t claim I had the worst high school experience or the worst life. I knew plenty then and plenty now whose situations were actually bad. And I felt for them then and I feel for them now. I still have some ghost dread when others have to go back to school. I suppose that’s my empathy seeping through.

But I must say I wouldn’t have minded some guidance, a mentor, someone to turn to, someone to tell me it was normal, or not.

I suppose I did eventually find that guidance. I found it in books. Stories that told me I wasn’t alone if not providing explicit guidance. I don’t even remember the books themselves for the most part. But I remember the feeling I had when they inspired me, whether I acted on those inspirations or not.

I still get that sense of inspiration when I read the right book. I still don’t always act upon them but the release of the right brain chemicals still makes it worth it.

I’ve read some books over the years I wish I had read when I was in high school, thinking they may have brought some guidance or at least reassurance.

There are people more knowledgeable than I about what those books are. Everyone has an opinion I am sure.

While I certainly didn’t set out do so, I’ve realized after the fact that when I wrote “Theo and Sprout” I wrote the kind of book I would have wanted to read when I was in high school. The kind of book that would have given me insight and maybe hope. Sprout was the guide I needed then and perhaps still need now.

I find comfort that perhaps at least one teenager will find solace in the story I wrote.

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