Wednesday, August 4, 2010

First Day Eve

It's a hot, hot, hot summers evening in August 2010. I sit here with many days of my life behind me and fewer before me. I've successfully raised three children and have been fortunate enough to see them through their school years and on into adulthood. They are all three now parents of my seven precious grandchildren. But, as we all know, life happens. For a lot of different reasons, I find myself parenting and raising my oldest grandchild. Together we face the dawn of tomorrow and her first day of the all dreaded Middle School Years. 

I remember them from my kids school days with less than fond memories. Middle School Hell. I have many times said that there should be a cave somewhere in the Badlands that we secure children between the ages of 11 and 13. Leave them there through puberty and all of the associated angst and drama that accompanies those milestone years of life. Then allow them to re-emerge into our lives as interesting and socially desirable high schoolers.  Sadly, my idea has fallen on deaf and sometimes hostile ears.

So tonight my Middle Schooler - hereafter referred to as my MS - prepares for the dawn of the next phase of her life. We had been instructed to be at Social Circle Middle / High School on 8/4/10 between the hours of 4PM and 6PM for the 6th grade open house. Some time juggling allowed me to leave work an hour early and rush home to join her my daughter (mother of my MS) and go meet the teachers. 

My MS was decked out appropriately in one of her new outfits, hair washed and combed, teeth brushed (at least she said they were) and new shoes still looking new. We loaded up in her mothers truck and made the 3 1/2 minute ride to the school. The parking lot was full as we made our way to the front door. The school is essentially one long building with a gym at each end. The main entrance welcomes both the town's middle schoolers - to the left and the high schoolers - to the right.  In other words, all that separates my 11 year old MS from randy 18 year old HS seniors is a cafeteria. Hmmmm... hope her hormones remained dormant for a few more years. We went inside along with the hundreds of other parents and eager, but anxious pseudo-teens. There were several hugs and "hi's" after the shortened summer break as we made our way to the last room on the hallway (extra feet from the aforementioned randy HS guys) to meet her teacher. I can't remember her name. I think that is a bad start. I should have paid more attention to that than to the sign encouraging them to sign up for band. I doubt her mother caught the name either. She was engaged in trying to find out when baseball, soccer, basketball and football tryouts were. The principals daughter is in my MS class. Even shares the same table. I hope that some of her motivation rubs off on my MS. At the Elementary School graduation this past spring she won all the awards. I predicted her to be the Valedictorian for the Social Circle High School class of 2017. OMG.

So tonight she has packed her book bag, picked out her clothes and called friends to meet her at the bus stop in the morning at 6:50AM. Now she's out playing with the neighborhood kids on this the last day of summer. If only the weather knew that. It's still over 95 degrees at 8:30PM. I'm trying for a 9:30PM bedtime, but hey...who am I trying to kid. She is in MS now!

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