My kids went back to school. My son, elementary, my daughter, middle school. Can I tell you that having a daughter start middle school feels only slightly worse than starting it yourself? Worse because you know. You know what’s ahead – both the good and the bad.
There are people who will say,”Middle School (or Junior High) was the best time of my life!” They’ll mean it. They’ll regale stories of football games and pep rallies and they’ll laugh and sigh all at once. I’m sad for those people because middle school is crap. I mean, really.
I will say that I am still very good friends with my middle school gang. I have beautiful, fun, magnificent memories from middle school. I had teachers who changed my heart and my life and made friends with girls who are now some of my go-to women. But to say it was the best time of my life would be a total lie. And I don’t lie. Unless you ask me if those pants make your butt look big. I will never tell you your butt looks big no matter how big it is. I will look you in the eye and lie. Every. Single. Time.
But the thing about sending my girl in is knowing that in spite of all the good she will meet and learn and see there will also be some really sucky parts. There will be people that try to convince her that her value is less than what it is. There will be people who try to make her think her worth is in her hair/face/shoes/backpack/map coloring skills. There will be someone who will laugh a little too loudly when she walks by and make her wonder, “Are they laughing at me?” There will be someone who doesn’t look her way when she says,”Hello.” There will be some punk who tells her she’s pretty on Monday and changes his mind on Tuesday.
So I’m praying that next week we will be past the drama of not knowing where 3rd period is and how to remember a locker combination. I’m praying that we will no longer stress about the lack of people we know in 5th period. I’m praying that she finds a lunch table with welcoming faces and figures out which class she needs to bring a jacket so as not to freeze. I’m asking God to calm her heart and mind and let her know that she is smart and beautiful and loved. I’m praying this all comes next week because the other stuff will come faster than we know. The good and the bad. It will all come quickly and I’m praying she has sturdy feet under her when it gets here. And frankly, I’m praying it because this mom can’t do another week like the first.