Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Milestone #56-The Hits Just Keep On Coming

Two weeks ago Sonya, my oldest, graduated from 5th grade.  Ok, I know- graduated -is a strong word at this age.  I guess she promoted out of the 5th grade and elementary school.  I suppose we have gotten a bit carried away with all of the pomp and circumstance, of celebrating every age of kids achieving something.  Sure graduating from high school is a big deal, but now we celebrate preschool, end of elementary and end of middle school.  I don't remember that ever happening when I was a kid.  That being said, they did have a nice little ceremony for the "graduating" 5th graders, and yes I cried.  Would you expect anything else?

It wasn't that long ago that I remember walking her into Kindergarten on the first day of school, just six years ago.  In fact it was so not long ago that I wrote it about it here.  Yet, here we are just a few short school years later celebrating the fact that she is done with elementary school and will soon be taking on a new much scarier challenge, middle school.  (Dun dun DUN!!!)

The ceremony at her school for her 5th grade promotion was full  the kids singing songs and reminiscing about their days at their elementary school aloud to the auditorium full of weepy parents.  It was all scripted, well choreographed and quite entertaining.  In all honesty, I was prepared to be bored in our hot un-airconditioned auditorium for two hours, with my only reward at the end a chocolate chip cookie from Portos.  Which if you know anything about Portos is a pretty damn good reward, but still, TWO HOURS.  I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly it moved along and how fun it was to reminisce along with the kids and listen to their songs.  Of course they called each child up to receive their "diploma", which may have been the most boring part except when Sonya got hers naturally.  There was one song they sang in particular that made me tear up and the slide show they presented choked me up as well.  However, it was the last thing they did that had me close to sobs. 

Every year a certain number of 5th grade students receive the Presidential Academic Award.  This is an Award that out of Sonya's class of 130 students only 23 achieved.  Sonya was the second name called to the stage.  I tried to take a picture or two, but it's hard to keep a camera steady when you are muffling sobs.  I was so proud of her.  This little girl who Andy and I struggled with whether to send  to school at 4 years old, not only did well throughout her six years in elementary, but did extremely well. So well she got a signed (stamped) letter from The President. This little girl who was almost a year younger than some of her best friends, kept up with them and in most cases surpassed them academically.  This little girl, who I realized as she stood on that stage accepting her award, was not such a little girl anymore.  

How did this happen??  I feel sometimes like I missed it, but then I know I didn't because I can still recall every project I helped her with, and every friend she told me about.  I was there for the struggles of homework, the joys of doing well on a test,  and the problems with other kids from time to time.  Then there were the panic attacks she had last year, when she struggled with learning about the human body and worrying about her own mortality.  She has always come to me or Andy and talked to us about school or friends or whatever problem she was having.  In some ways I feel like emotionally she hasn't been ready for every grade, but she's always managed to come through with flying colors.  Now as she heads to middle school this fall, (or later this summer I should say), I worry that the little girl who is not so little anymore, will start to become distant from us.  We might not get to help with every project or hear about every friend.  She might shut us out if there is a girl being mean or she can't handle a certain subject.  I know this, because I know this is what every tween-teenage girl does, including myself at that age.  And this my friends, this is what makes me cry the most.  

Years ago, when I started this blog, I could have paid for college if I had a dollar for the number of moms who came up to me telling me, "enjoy them  now because it goes so fast!" Some of them much older and by themselves, some of them with a bored teenager standing close by rolling her eyes at her mom talking to a stranger.   I remember at the time, when I was housebound 90% of my life thinking-"it's not going fast enough lady!"  Now I find myself in Target or the grocery store alone and seeing younger moms with babies and toddlers struggling to get just one errand done, and I have to resist that same  urge to run to them and tell them the same things so many woman said to me just six years ago.  

It does go fast.  Way too fast and I know that now.  I still have some time to go with all of my girls before they leave us physically, but I am well aware of how I'm going to blink and Sonya will be graduating for real.  From High School.  So even though the summer sometimes drives me crazy what with having to drag them to Target and the grocery store, while refereeing multiple fights throughout the day, I will do everything I can to hold on to these days and have as much fun with them as I can, while they will still let me.  I know soon enough they will be trading time with me for time with friends, and (gulp) boys.  Then I will be left to sit in a dark room listening to "Cats in the Cradle" on repeat.  Hmmm...Is 41 to old to have my husband reverse his Vasectomy and have another baby??

In all seriousness, I am so proud of the daughter we have raised thus far.  I know she will continue to grow into a strong, smart, fun, sweet young woman.  Whether she talks to me or not.  

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