Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Junior High School Birthday Girl

I resent the world that wants her to hurry and grow up, her teachers who say that everything is solely her responsibility. Thirteen and Junior High School doesn't mean that she's an independent adult. With the world just beginning to open for her, careful guidance and nurturing are vital to her success. "Figure it out, you're not a baby anymore," is neither nurturing nor supportive. It's negligent. Parents aren't entitled to or responsible for her getting her work done, so they say. We are her teachers, no matter what they say, and we'll continue to battle the system on her behalf.

Her daddy says that the most frightening part of being the parent of a 13-year old is that she has reached an age that he remembers being. I contend that the most frightening part is much bigger than that. No longer a small child, yet so far from being an adult - how strange are these years of in-between-ness. Hard to imagine that it may be as few as six more years that she calls our home her home. What will the future hold for our girl, who still asks to be tucked in, to have me turn on the bath water for her?

Until then, we will enjoy filling her childhood with potential for many wonderful memories. Birthday parties and school dances. Family vacations and intensive study sessions. Dance recitals and doctor's appointments. Nighttime snuggles and afternoon shopping sprees. Don't hurry, my girl.


MJ said...

Her party looked so fun! She's got some pretty cool parents, too.

Your post was a good one for me as a new parent but also as a teacher of 13 year olds. Now that I have a little one, I can see even more how little they still are. I especially see it when they yawn. :)

Happy Birthday, Dramaqueen!

Cora Spondence said...

See, this is why I knew I could never have kids of my own. The growing up, it's all wonderful but so sad at the same time because you have the large view. It can fill your heart with joy and break it all in the same breath watching your daughter blow out her candles and then when you blink, say her wedding vows. I know you're not supposed to want to hang on, but with all the love, how can you not?