“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
--- Douglas Adams

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Junior High

The Girl started the 7th grade yesterday. Funny I don't feel much older than the day I had her. She's certainly grown up, though. It's been fun watching her transform from a little girl to a young woman. In the last year she's done more new things on her own than she's done in her entire life. What started with me pushing her in her stroller to the zoo has evolved into her walking to her job at the zoo. What started with letting her stay home alone while I ran to Walgreens to get something has evolved into me bribing her to go to Walgreens for me. What started me giving her a plastic knife and teaching her to slice her own bananas for her cereal has turned into her cooking dinner for the family. What started with me planning playdates for her has evolved into her texting her friends and them making their own plans (making me drive them, of course.)

I'm so excited to see what's going to happen in coming year. Will she get more responsibilities at her job? Will she discover some hidden talent? Will she find new passions, new favorite things to do? Will she get a boyfriend? Oh my gosh. So much new stuff to think about this year.

Tonight at The Girl's school is back to school night. I like this night. Tonight's the night where I get to meet her teacher. In past years the event took place in individual classrooms. I used to sneak a little note or treat into her desk. Tonight the event is in the school's common room, combined with the other 7th grade class and the 8th grade. I wonder how different tonight will be, how it will evolve. I think back to the first back to school night I attended when The Girl was in kindergarten. I was a rookie mom who forgot to bring a little treat to put inside her desk. The desks were tiny. The room was bright and colorful and none of the parents knew each other. Nowadays all the parents know each other, the desks are big and the kids are old.

I remember the 7th grade. My teacher's name, Miss Maxwell. For Christmas she gave everyone in the class bibles. I still have mine. The front cover melted in the sun and the biding is shot, but I still have it. She told a story once about how she worked in an office over the summer and saw some manilla folders that she liked. She was going to take some home, but then remembered it was stealing. She asked her boss if she could have some and he bought her a case. I think of that story every time I find a pen from work in my purse. I remember one girl had surgery on her legs and was in a wheelchair for a few months, then later she had surgery on her jaw and had to drink shakes. I remember I met my junior high bff and her twin sister and their mom who introduced me to Eggs and Rice and Soy Sauce. I remember once the principal, Mr. Hensley interrupted class to ask Miss Maxwell about a particular bible verse. She said she knew the verse but couldn't remember where it was found. She told the class to pull out our bibles and look for the verse. I was the one who found it. It was Proverbs 15:1 (A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.) I remember getting in trouble for writing something derogatory about a teacher on the bathroom wall, even though it wasn't me who wrote it. When those who did write it were discovered, I asked for an apology and the teacher said she wouldn't give me one because she didn't think she was too far off from thinking it was me int the first place. I remember having to read The Tell Tale Heart in front of the class. I remember having to memorize a poem and recite it to the class. I recited some poem about Dungeons and Dragons that I read in Read Magazine, which was sort of like the weekly reader for junior high kids.

I don't remember being as well liked as my Girl is. I don't remember getting the good grades that my Girl gets.

I hope The Girl has the best 7th grade year ever, has a lot of good memories, a lot of good stories.
I'm super proud of her.

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