Friday, October 23, 2015

Not Yet.

I just dropped off my oldest daughter and her close friend at the school's Monster Bash 7th & 8th grade dance. There was a little hemming and hawing for a while this month about whether or not she was going to go. In the last week, there seemed to be a flurry of classmates asking or being asked out to the dance. Being fortunate enough to have a daughter that shares with me, I heard about some of the drama and the who is with who.

I asked her, "Do you wish that someone asked you to the dance?"
I really had no idea what her response might be. Only in the beginning stages of puberty and all that awesomeness, I wasn't sure where she really was with crushes and such.

She answered, "No. Not yet."

The maturity of her answer struck me. Not yet. She is not ready yet. She will be someday. She appreciates just watching it. There will come a time when she may feel left out. Right now, some chicken nuggets and macaroni with a good friend was all the date she needed.

I do and I don't remember this time in my life. I am fascinated watching middle schoolers all day at school and chatting more intimately with one at home. What was I doing at 12? Other than growing larger and carrying the literal and figurative weight that entailed. I wonder if I knew what I was and wasn't ready for. Was I aware that I had some say in that?
I feel like at 6th grade, I was a tourist in the world of puberty....not really going through it. Watching others' appearances change. I knew I was supposed to have a crush and grabbed one up in my mind to refer to. It mirrored most of the girls' crushes.
As for 7th grade- I can't remember any of it. I don't even know what homeroom I was in. It was a miserable year. As was 8th grade.

But today in school, I watched my 7th grader skip down the hall to do recycling.

As in-she skipped.

She holds such happiness. When I see her in the hallway, I am immediately at ease, comforted by her simple presence. I'm elevated by her excited wave "hello". I can breathe easy, fully understanding now that our children do not relive our lives.

Colleen holds more confidence than I had predicted for her, and I am burning the rest of the rough sketches I had of her in my head. She is a molding all her own.
I am quieted by this life lesson.

(A Colleen creation- she is obsessed with pandas)

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