The Final Chapter of High School … Is This Real??

The Final Chapter of High School … Is This Real??

I sit here today with a mind joyfully full of priceless memories and a heart overflowing with pride, but somehow the words to express it all don’t seem to flow. How do you find the right way to explain your pure and utter excitement for what lies ahead, while at the same time feeling like you just can’t seem to breathe. Is this really the beginning of the end? Is my son really about to start his senior year of high school? How are we here already, and how do I make the time slow down in order for my heart to catch up? I am not prepared for this experience to be over yet.

Four years ago, we made what we knew at the time to be the right decision. And for all of you just starting out on the search for a perfect high school in New Orleans, I know that it is very stressful, but let your kids follow their hearts (and guts). We are forever grateful that our son did just that.

What we didn’t know at the time he selected his high school was just how much that one decision and moment in time would change our lives forever. Brother Martin High School was the place we chose, the place my son felt was going to be his new home. His instincts couldn’t have been more spot on, and as we enter his senior year, I just can’t imagine how we will leave this place behind next May. This school has taken my son and molded him in to the best young man I could have ever dreamt up. The shy kid he was a few years ago is now a mire shadow in the past. He now stands a young man absolutely sure of himself with character that is unmatched. I have no doubt that Brother Martin, and the numerous educators he’s had during his time there, has set him up for the successful and fulfilling future he is going to take head on.

My son’s true passion has always been music. He was born with this love as a part of his soul. The Crusader band was a huge factor in his decision to choose Brother Martin. The history and name the Crusader band has made for themselves spoke to him on its own, and being part of the program carries a tremendous amount of priviledge. The band members were, in his mind, in a league of their own. He again was absolutely spot on. What he instinctively felt as a rising 8th grader has turned out to be the truth.

Our son wanted so badly to be a part of the Marty Hurley Legacy and the Crusader Drumline, so that is what he did. He had a goal in mind, and he carved a path to get there day in and day out. He has worked so hard and dedicated himself entirely into this program to achieve what he saw as the biggest honor. He has indeed achieved his goal, and he is going into his senior year selected as “Drum Captain!”

With this great honor at Brother Martin comes an overwhelming onset of emotion as his mother. To watch your child have such focus and dedication towards something and then achieve the very thing he has dreamt of … well, it is simply breathtaking and overwhelming. The bonds he has made with his bandsmen and directors will follow him through life. There will be nothing that will ever replace what these last four years at Brother Martin have given him. As parents, we have also made so many friends that will forever be our Crusader family. After the next school year we may physically be moving on from the campus, but it – and the memories – will remain a part of us always. I’m thankful every day for the amazing band directors that have guided our son and taken him in as their own. They give all of themselves and truly do not get the credit they deserve for the impact they have on making these young men who they are today.

My advice to parents who are just starting out on this high school journey would be … trust your child’s instincts. I know as parents this is such a hard concept; it goes against our most natural instincts to guide, and sometimes even choose, for our kids. This is the first of many life changing decisions they will make. Let their hearts and instincts guide them. Answer the questions without bias. Listen when they tell you what they are feeling. And watch for the unspoken reaction. Every child is unique, so therefore their wants are different, and that’s exactly how it should be. Let them be who they were meant to be.

Brother Martin High School, we thank you. We thank you for making dreams come true. We thank you for making legendary young men out of our boys. The care and personalism you give can not be found anywhere else in New Orleans. You have been a blessing to us in so many way. Our hearts will forever bleed Crimson and Gold!

Lynda Shilling

Lynda is a mom of two sons, Blaine and Walker, who lives in Metairie with her husband of 23 years, Will. She’s also the proud dog mom of two sweeties, Pepper and Luna. She has worked as a hairstylist for 24 years (at Salon Naj) and is a licensed insurance producer at The Dodge Insurance Agency in Metairie. When’s she’s not advising you on your insurance needs, or making your hair fabulous, Lynda enjoys fishing or hanging with friends during her free time. And, like most moms, she’s fueled by good wine.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here