Tuesday, August 23, 2011

6th Grade Is Killing Me

Sixth grade is killing me and I'm 41.  My sweet girl started 6th grade this week and it is one of the hardest things I've gone through as a parent.  The school is full of 6th graders, twice as many kids as she had in her whole elementary.  It's a shock to the system.  Her classes are full of kids she doesn't know, the cafeteria is a sea of faces, laughing and talking and hanging out, and she is floating without a life preserver.

 I know she will be okay, and I know that a billion kids have gone before her and survived.  But they weren't my child.

I so clearly remember taking her to kindergarten.  As we walked down the hall she held my hand tight, and as we walked into the room she held even tighter.  Those tiny little fingers gripping with all their might. As we walked down the sidewalk to the 6th grade center I was rattling on about how much fun it was going to be and how great it would be to make new friends, and then I felt her.  She reached out and took my hand, holding on tight, those fingers, now longer, griping with all their might.  And in that moment, my heart ached in a way I hadn't known before - like all the other times in her life I could somehow protect her from the really crappy parts of growing up, but not this time.

I want her to make a really great friend, to feel comfortable, to laugh a lot, and to remember 6th grade as a great time in her life.  I want everyone I know to pray that this is what will happen, and if you don't pray then light a candle, or send it out to the universe, just do something, because seeing big sad tears roll down her face is killing me.  


M said...

Sending prayers your way... Keep us posted on how it goes!

bonesysblahg said...

What a beautifully written piece on a bittersweet part of parenting! Mine are all a little older, but I've totally been there... 4 times.

The worst? Last year, when I dropped my 17 year old off at a college (!) 6 hours south of me. Through mountains. I was good until the president said "We're going to learn to love and care for your child. Not like you do, of course..." he went on & on. But what resonated with me at that moment was the fact that I was about to drive away and leave my baby boy in a place where absolutely nobody else loved him.

It all worked out, of course. He loves the school & made instant friends... But thinking of that one moment still brings tears to my eyes.

Mike said...

I gotta say, I feel lucky to hang out with 6th and 7th graders all day long. After they get over the "start-of-school-jitters", these kids are funny, smart and once in a while they let their little kid show up.

Hope all is well with your crew. Middle school is wearing this old guy out.