Middle School Changes Everything
Friday, July 25, 2014
As I dropped my youngest daughter off for 6th grade orientation Wednesday morning, a wave of sadness washed over me. “Where did the time go?” I ask myself as I watch her walk into the middle school without a backwards glance.
“She’s a big girl now,” I chide myself as I slowly pull away.
I see another mom look back too, a brief over the shoulder glance at the door, like I did. In that moment, I know this stranger’s heart.
Why is my youngest going to middle school so much harder emotionally than it was with my first?
I wrestle with this question for a block or two, and finally settle on this answer.
My oldest blazed the trail of “firsts”, and while they were exciting and stressful and bittersweet moments, I still had my youngest at home watching, waiting, growing into being a big girl.
The last of my elementary school days are behind me, and I know what starting middle school means in my world. It means it’s no longer cool to come to school and have lunch with my daughter.
It means I can’t walk her in the first day of school with her 50 pounds of school supplies without getting the “look” from students and faculty. Trust me, you don’t want to draw attention to yourself or your child in middle school ever, but especially not on the first day of school!
Middle school will change everything from bed times to snack times.
It will change my one on one time with both my girls, robbing me of my quite time with my youngest in the morning and my quite time with my oldest in the afternoon.
It’s not like I didn’t know this day was coming. It wasn’t as if I hadn’t been down the middle school road before, but this time middle school is taking my youngest daughter one step closer to independence, just like high school is taking my oldest daughter one step closer to college and independence.
And it’s bittersweet.
And I’m just not ready to turn another page in the book of my mom life, so I stopped working as much as possible. I have been in the moment with them as much as humanly possible.
I let the house work go.
I let the yard work go.
I am absorbing as much of them as I can, so when the business of the school year takes over, I know I gave them all of me this summer, and hopefully that helps them move confidently one step closer to their independence.