Life moves faster than expected and slows down at the most inopportune moments. Tonight was one of the faster moments…and I had no idea how to behave. You see, it might seem silly to veteran parents of multiple children all spaced many years apart, but my first-born had her middle school orientation. I came home from work and quickly showered and put on what I thought was a “cool” mom outfit. She looked beautiful as always, and had to be reminded for the thousandth time to brush her gloriously long, straight, naturally highlighted hair. She didn’t appear nervous, but I was sure there was some sort of apprehension.
We pulled into the parking lot and saw many parents walking in with their children. My instinct was to reach out for her hand…mostly because I need it, but I stopped myself. Hmm. I leaned over and told her and she giggled. I am trying to act cool, I tell her in my best mom is not about to cry voice. Ugh. What is wrong with me? It is just orientation and I have all summer. Calm down. I can’t stop my racing thoughts. I hope she sees someone she knows. Why oh why did all her friends get into the next magnet school and she didn’t? She got into our zoned school, which is actually quite a coveted school. I always believe things happen for a reason and she was fine with this choice. It was my heart that sank when I realized she wouldn’t be with her best friend. Okay, stop this. Moving forward.
A pleasant lady shows us where to go and all the teachers are standing near. Students currently in 6th grade pass out flyers. They don’t look so bad, I think. I can do this. I mean, umm she can do this. We can do this. Sigh. We take our seat and the program starts shortly thereafter. The place continues to fill up so I ask my daughter to move down a few seats for people who are coming in. She gives me the “You are embarrassing me by making me move” look. I tell her it is only polite. A few minutes later, Sebastian Bach comes in with his daughter and sits beside me. Okay, so not really, but he looked like he forgot what year it was. I am all good with that, as I love the 80’s too, but you know, time/place. By now some students are reading about why they love 6th grade. This one boy really was good in front of the crowd; however, it wasn’t what he said that moved me. It was the timid boy, in the halting voice, who said he loved his teachers and the food. Wow. I loved him too. I loved him because it was obviously a struggle for him to either read his card or speak in front of us, but he did it anyway. I felt tears prick at the back of my eyelids. Okay overly-emotional-teacher-mom, get over it already. Let’s do this tour and go home. As they dispersed us for the tour, we got the funny little guy and I thought that was probably better. I didn’t want to say anything that would embarrass my daughter further and get the “stare”. Anyone with a tween knows what that looks like and it is not pretty. So as we move forward, I can’t help but think all I want to do is go backward.
“My mom and I have always been really close. She’s always been the friend that was always there. There were times when, in middle school and junior high, I didn’t have a lot of friends. But my mom was always my friend. Always.” ~Taylor Swift
(Warning: clicking on above song requires tissues as well as Spotify)