23 May 2005
I'm not ready...

My daughter is starting Middle School next year, and we just got back from the school orientation. I remember jr high being a big new adventure, and I had lots of fun there; so I was happy, and even a little excited, for Amelia. I thought I was cool with being the Mom of a Middle Schooler.

But then we got there. I looked around, and it was definitely a different crowd than I'm used to at the elementary school. One boy had a mohawk, several of the girls were wearing make-up, and quite a few kids were on their own, without their parents.

None of these things are bad, nor are they abnormal in any way. But they bothered me, deeply. And I realized I was scared. We're talking about my LITTLE GIRL. Next year, these will be her peers. These will be the people she looks up to and wants to be like. And they're not little kids. They're almost-teens. And that's what my daughter is now, not my 'little' girl anymore.

This seems like the first step down a long, scary road. Soon she'll be wanting to wear makeup, and get her license, and somewhere in there she'll want to start dating. On the weekends, she'll want to go 'hang out' with her friends instead of being with her family. All of it scares me. Soon she'll be going out into the big wide world all on her own, and I won't be able to protect her. And alongside the fear is a horrible sense of loss, the thought that now my little girl only exists in my memory and in photo albums.

I know it sounds a bit silly, and I know I'm following the 'slippery slope' fallacy here, but as we sat there listening to the speakers I felt my eyes welling up. My daughter's growing up, and the time is passing too quickly. Soon she'll be a young adult, with tough choices to make, and her own life to lead--that doesn't involve me on a daily basis. And it's hard to take. I'll get over it, but along the way I hope I am the best mom I can be.

Amelia's reaction to the orientation? "School starts two weeks after my birthday, Mom. So cool! I'll have lots of cool clothes--can you buy me clothes for my birthday?!? We can have a shopping party!"

posted by Julie at 9:57 PM 7 comments


Blogger Jen said...

La la la la, I don't hear you! She's only 15 months older than Anya!

Tue May 24, 01:36:00 AM GMT+1  
Blogger Lora said...

Quick here's a paper bag, just breath into the bag and everything will be okay.

Tue May 24, 06:48:00 AM GMT+1  
Blogger Sheri said...

Aww!! I can imagine that I would be a teary mess too!

Tue May 24, 01:55:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger lchan said...

It just goes by too fast, doesn't it?

When my daughter turned 10, I freaked out because I had less time with her at home left than we already had. It seriously made me feel heartsick.

I just had to stop, breathe, and realize that she isn't grown up yet and by the time she is, I may actually be able to deal with it (or not).

Tue May 24, 03:54:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger Scott said...

Don't worry Sweetie, by the time she's old enough to date, we will be in the States and I can own a gun, ready for the boyfriends!!!
Well if she isn't already a nun that is.

Tue May 24, 11:23:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger Julie said...

Thanks, everyone, for the reassurances. I feel better today... :)

Wed May 25, 11:31:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger Comfort Addict said...

I don't have any kids (only dogs) but I can imagine the apprehension that you have. Your daughter seems like a cool kid, though. I'm betting that she'll be able to deal with what comes her way.

Sat May 28, 02:55:00 PM GMT+1  

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