'Twas the night before school starts and all through the house
Not a kid is yet sleeping, no not even close
They're lying and waiting all nestled in bed
With thoughts of the morning occupying their heads.
Try as they might, the sleep will not come
Too anxious they'll be till the next day is done
The vacation's over, it went by so fast
Though they tried hard to make the days last
The school year upon them, the challenges new
Oh how to convince them, these days are so few?
For soon as you know it, the school days are done
The kids will head off on their own one-by-one
The moments are ticking off quicker I think
Like Mom used to say, they grow up when you blink
Okay - that's my brief attempt at a cute rhyme the night before Caitlin starts JUNIOR HIGH. What on earth? Junior High. When. Did. That. Happen?
I'm not worried about her, I know she'll be okay. It's all the other kids that are freaking me out. Like the ones at the park last night - about 10 boys and 5 girls around Cait's age all in one big circle, some of them hugging. I am just not ready for this. She's probably ready. She's had plenty of transitions during grade school - three separate schools because of the Magnet program though we never moved. And she's adjusted great. Which is a miracle because she loves her routine. Which is why she will do great this year. There is plenty of routine - much more so than the ramshackle summer she just endured.
Then there's the 5th graders in our house. Yes - that's FIFTH Grade for the twins. Maggie said, "Mom, I don't feel like a 5th grader. I still feel like a 4th grader." I said, "Good." They met their teacher tonight. I think he's 22. He just graduated college. He has red hair and looks like he's 18. I almost asked him to show me the diploma. Nice enough guy. I'm rooting for him. Maggie was a little disconcerted that they had a boy teacher for the first time. Ryan thinks he rocks. Could have to do with his being a Cubs fan.
Usually I start to anticipate this day earlier, but we've been so busy that it just snuck up and pounced on me. I'm sure the newly arrived panic is due to my own memories of junior high. Or actually the lack thereof. I have managed to literally block out the entire experience from my mind. I can remember two things from that period of time. A crush I had on a boy named Jerry Dumell who never knew I existed and when our drama teacher played the War of the Worlds tapes for us (yes kiddies, it was right after 8 tracks) during class. I cannot remember anything else. Not a teacher name, not a social event (probably didn't attend any), not a sporting activity (see previous note), nada. I probably couldn't even find the school again without an address and a GPS. I do remember a couple of kids who were nice to me (thanks L.K.) but really nothing else save for a general feeling of depression that lasted two years. And honestly, I think the lack of memories is God's grace, because who wants to relive that?
So I'm hoping the new memories are good ones. Memories formed by kids who are secure in their identity, know they are loved unconditionally and are quick to pray when things get dicey.
Man they are so far ahead of the game.