Middle School Changes Everything

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.


  1. This brought tears to my eyes as I can totally identify! My little guy starts middle school this year and I swear he grew up overnight this summer. I think it's always toughest with the baby, because, well, they are the babies! They are the ones we know still have those snuggly moments left in them even when the older siblings have gone away on different paths. I, too, am treasuring each last day of pre-middle school, which has thankfully been extended an extra week here due to construction! :)

  2. Hi Barb,

    Thanks for sharing part of your world with us. It really is different when it's the baby growing up and your comment made me teary.

    I'm glad you get an extra week of summer to enjoy your sweetie's.

  3. Awe, you are such a sweet mom. I'm the same way that it's a bittersweet feeling to see them grow so quickly. My son is still in preschool and I know that it's going to be hard seeing him grow and keeping moving through higher grade levels.

  4. My youngest is turning 2 and I am having a hard time with that. I can't even imagine middle school. Time really does fly.

  5. Hi Daisy,

    Thanks for your supportive comment, I am a sentimental person Mom for sure. Pre-school is full of fun~enjoy!

  6. Hi Carlee,

    Two is such a fun, whirlwind age isn't it? They are so full of energy and boundless love.


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