by | May 1, 2019

In the weeks before my high school graduation, it hadn’t occurred to me that commencement meant beginning. It felt like another word for ending, notwithstanding the planned celebrations. Truth be told, I wasn’t ready to start something new.

I wanted to savor the sweetness of my friends. And continue walking into the building greeted by the stenciled words “The Best People on Earth Walk These Halls.” At the same time, I knew we’d already signed papers of separation disguised as college housing agreements, military enlistments, and training programs.

We’d begun with unsteady steps in Mrs. Morgan’s kindergarten class. We added new pals along the grades, lost teeth and got braces. We survived puberty, received honors, and questioned our parents. We fell in and out of love, played to win, and learned to manage time. We suffered for releasing chickens imprisoned in shopping bags from atop the bleachers at a basketball game and driving too fast and too late at night.

On that last day of high school, we walked arm in arm, laughing as ribbons of tears streaked our cheeks, down that long hall relishing all that had been fun and good. Certainly more confident, capable and kind than our freshmen counterparts. The pain of disappointments and the trials of troubles transformed into wisdom and grace and steel.

Looking back at my 17-year-old self with my gaggle of friends, I see a brave blur, flinging open the doors and leaping into the unknown. Yes, we’d march to Pomp and Circumstancethe next day and move our tassels from right to left, but this was our launching.

Thank you for all you do raising your unique children,


JoAnn Schauf

JoAnn Schauf, Founder of Your Tween & You, began her professional counseling career in California. Later, as a counselor in schools and colleges in Texas, JoAnn supported students, families and educators providing guidance, designing and presenting professional development, and creating innovative programs. JoAnn responded to the needs of parents of adolescents by founding Your Tween & You in 2016. She received a Top Entrepreneur Award in Dallas in 2017. She’s a member of the Texas Counseling Association, contributes to local media, and stays in contact with her readers with a bi-monthly newsletter, The Tween Times. A sought-after coach and speaker, JoAnn empowers and inspires adults and adolescents with the system and secrets to thrive together. She understands that it’s challenging to be in the body of an adolescent, and equally frustrating to be the parent of one. Those she’s touched call her the “Parent Whisperer” because what they learn and apply transforms their relationships with their children. JoAnn and her husband raised four children, all of whom who are now successful adults with families of their own. Every holiday season her family and friends eagerly await a box of her famous fudge. It won’t be long before JoAnn’s book for parents of tweens will be available.