This time of year used to be something that I longed for. Summers spent playing with my friends, swimming at the lake for hours, chasing fireflies, and staying out late (sometimes too late). Now, it just isn't the same. The freedoms that I had as a kid are no longer there. Sure, I can go "play" with my friends, but they too have responsibilities and families to take care of. I could go swimming, chasing fireflies, and stay out late, but all those things loose their appeal when you know the alarm clock is still going to go off at 4:45 in the morning.
Today was the last day of school for my oldest two children. My middle daughter survived second grade and has received her pass into third. My oldest, well, she has graced the halls of elementary school for the last time; she is now officially a middle schooler. She has already started the summer out with a bang, a sleep over at a friend's house! I took the other two to the library to pick out books for the summer reading program. (Aren't they the lucky ones?!)
Rewind the clock a few years to summer of 1989. That was the year that I finished 5th grade and entered middle school. I can remember pieces of it well. Let's see, we had the 1988 mock classroom elections, I was one of the only students who "voted" democrat. Seems Dukakis wasn't popular with the 5th grade populace at my school, or rather I should say with the students' parents. Not to worry, I soon learned the errors of listening to my parent's political points of view and have gladly voted ever since I was old enough, but I digress. I can also remember that was the year the girls and boys went their separate ways to learn about "health". Funny, after that year we all never looked at each other the same. I mean, we were different and sadly the naivete of youth was removed from us. That was also the year I had my first male teacher. I don't remember him much, just that my class switched with his for social studies, I guess the thought was to prep us for the next school year. Yeah, that was an epic fail.
Fast forward to the summer where I can only guess the majority of my time was spent at the beach, seeing as how we lived at a lake during that time. I don't remember the first day of 6th grade, really. I remember my first period teacher, Mr. McDermid (sp). I think I had social studies in that class, I can't say now, but I know that in that class I met my best friend, Sarah. We have been best friends ever since. Oh, don't get me wrong we've had our moments, but she is still the one who knows me more than anyone else, and she loves me none-the-less, and I her.
I guess that year didn't leave much of an impression on me. I can't recall much of it. Pretty much all of middle school was a blur, as I am sure it is for most of the American population. It represents those years where your body grows at awkward intervals and you are either blessed with well timed spurts, or recognized horribly for the ill-timed ones. Middle school marks the years where some experience their first "boyfriend", hand holding in the halls, passing notes in class and between periods, and the development of personal style. Many of the aforementioned I remember, pretty much just the note passing! Sarah and I would send each other notes that were forever and a day long. I pity the person who found the box I stored all that stuff in and lost so many years ago.
So, here I sit, excited that my baby girl gets to experience all these firsts in the coming years, and sad that she has arrived at this time. I can remember bringing her home and snuggling her closely and thinking I could never, ever let her go. Alas, time has a way of escaping us all and the years just fly away. I can't promise her rainbows and roses, but I can promise her love and guidance. These are the years that will form her more than she knows and I am so scared I won't help her enough and that her little heart will be hurt more than once by the viciousness of adolescence.
However, through it all, there will be one truth that remains. I am her mom and she is my little girl. I pray that I don't mess this thing up, but know that perfection lies in Christ alone. So, just a warning dear readers, this blog may get emotional at times and downright mean at others, but hey, its just growing pains, right?!