Our baby girl started Junior High today. I can’t tell you how conflicted I am with this very odd transition from taking care of all her problems to sending her off into the world to problem solve on her own. It’s laughable to me how, at times, she can be mad at me for not succumbing to her every need and in the very next breath she’ll ask me to drive her to the mall. Kind of ironic, isn’t it? I like to call it the “I hate you, but can you drive me to the mall” syndrome.
There is such pride that goes into raising our children. All of the parents I know really put their sweat and soul into this parenthood game and sometimes we are rewarded for our efforts. Most times we are not. But today, I felt pride and fear all at the same time. Pride that she is such an equipped, articulate beauty inside and out, presumably ready for the world. Fearful because she has not yet experienced how cold and heartless this world can be. When we started looking at schools, in the pre kindergarten years, I never could have imagined sending a young woman, staring at me eye to eye, off into the wonderful, drama filled, pseudo adult world we call junior high school. I mean we’ve all seen the movie “Mean Girls,” haven’t we. It can be terrifying. I know from experience that there will be tears and there will be joy. There will be acceptance and there will be isolation. But I know through it all I will be there for her every step of the way.