My daughter is nearly twelve. And we've been having some momentous occasions at our house, all resulting in her turning into a teenage girl. There are times when this process makes my stomach hurt, like the other night when I watched her walking to our neighbor's house for a sleep over and she did this goofy little dancy step that evoked her six-year-old self so strongly I could nearly reach out and pinch her used-to-be-chubby cheeks. You all know I have a thing about my kids growing up.
But tonight, it was good to be the mom of an almost-12-year-old. Last week, we received a letter letting us know that she'd made it into the Academic Studies program at the junior high she'll attend in the fall. This is our district's version of a gifted & talented program. She tested for it in December, and neither one of us really thought much more about it---I knew I'd be excited if she got in, but I wasn't anxious about it, either. If she got in, great, if not, she could try for the Honors class instead. BUT---she and I were both happy when she got the acceptance letter.
Tonight we went to the junior high for an orientation meeting and to sign the intention papers. We learned all about what will be expected of her, met the teachers, discovered that she already knew two people in the class. As we sat in that classroom, I actually felt a little bit jealous of her. Is that weird? Not in a vindictive or mean way. Just that there is so much to learn in this world, and she has so much in front of her still left to do. So many friends to make and experiences to have. Even the bad ones are worth it in the end. Maybe her future new best friend was in that room (happily, she insists that her current best friend, who's been her best friend since they were both five, will remain her best friend, and I say happily because her insistence shows that she's not yet had any Mean Girl experiences). Maybe she'll fall in love with an author, or an historical time period, or write something she never want to lose. Everything I can think of, nearly, is in front of her.
We walked home in the cold, metallic darkness, talking and laughing. We made sugar cookies when we got home, and since the boys---all of them, even Kendell---were gone, it was just us, laughing and making a mess and eating more raw cookie dough than is good for a person. I was reminded all over again how much I love this girl and how amazing she is. She is opposite of me at that age---I was shy and quiet and insecure, clueless how to do the girl things like make up and the right clothes. She's outgoing and friendly and absolutely sure of herself, and the girl thing? Well, she's got that, too. I love her so much---how lucky am I to have her?
PS, on a completely unrelated topic, I love this article about the newest cliches. It's a little bit snarky but in a good way. I mean...he calls Bono a tax-dodging old geezer. To which I say...the man can be sexy and save the world and be an old geezer, all at once. A fun read if you're geeky like me!