I’m an emotional girl – so it’s no surprise that the tears were already streaming down my cheeks when we pulled into Edison’s parking lot last night. Brittani got out of the car and hugged me, and the four of us made our way to the building…
Edison is an enormous school. I was overwhelmed by it’s size, and especially compared to my small child. I can’t believe middle school is here already.
It wasn’t that long ago that I was in middle school myself. I was so naive. I had no idea what those three years would mean to me later in life and I was swift to wish it away. I was ready to be finished with school, and all the drama that came along with it. I had no idea the intense impact that those years would have on my character. The friends I met in sixth grade aren’t really my friends anymore, though we do occasionally socialize, but they taught me everything I needed to know about my future friendships and interactions in life…I knew when to stand up for myself, when to back down, when to confide in someone, when to cut my losses. The boyfriends were not marriage material, and many of them still haven’t gone on to become marriage material, but they were cute – and they prepared me for the later more serious relationships–a few of them still have a special place. The instruction was not top of the line, and the curriculum wasn’t far too stimulating, but it prepared my study habits, my use of resources and enriched my time management. More than anything, it just began to show me who I wanted to be in life, what I wanted to become. How I wished it would be over. I dreaded going to that building every day where the mean kids would be, and the fights would break out, all the drama and games. What I’d give to go back just for the day.
My sweet child has no idea the changes that are about to take place in her life. Brittani, like me, is very naive to the challenges she’s about to face. I can’t prepare her any more than my own mother could have prepared me for this journey –
As I sat there in the Edison auditorium, watching her sitting a few rows in front of me, feet propped up on the backs of chairs, giggling amongst her friends – this amazing feeling came over me – that’s mine. The little girl I birthed nearly eleven years ago is growing far faster than I ever would have planned. I have no say and no control, she goes through life at life’s pace, not my own. I only pray that I feel the intense feelings when Brooke goes off to middle school – I don’t want to become desensitized to this emotion – these children are my greatest blessings.
Today the cell phone rang while I was at work and Brittani let me know that she had won her school’s spelling bee. I congratulated her, and then choked up once more as I apologized for not being there for her big win. This child amazes me a little more every day, and with each day the guilt compounds for the times I have to be away to earn a living.
After I left the middleschool last night, I went to have dinner with my friends. These friends have babies. Little, small, crying, drooling babies. They talk of carseats and teething tablets, diaper brands and daycares. I wish I could slow them down, I wish I could show them how quickly this happens. But I can’t prepare them anymore than I could have been prepared myself. Life happens at life’s pace.
One day I was rocking her in the rocking chair, complaining about her teeth that just wouldn’t erupt as she cried and drooled all over my shirt. The next day I was enrolling her into middle school.