They have wished their childhood away so frequently (and loudly), that I fear we are there.
I have a preteen.
And a pre-preteen.
I also have a huge heartache.
After this year, our family’s journey through elementary school is over.
I’ll have two middle schoolers next year.
My heart literally cannot take it.
At the start of this school year, I would get teary-eyed every single time we passed by the high school. The girls would make a joke about the “Cry School.” Yes, yes, I am a mess about it sometimes. Then I turn the corner and remember my baby is still in elementary, my older one still has a little while left in middle school. All is well for a bit…
Middle school is rough.
Carys has been navigating it pretty well so far; but it is very tricky.
No matter how I try to lift her up at home,
No matter how many positive people I place in her path,
No matter how many times we discuss the importance of ignoring drama,
It still seeps in.
My giggly girl is still happy, but I can tell you that something has changed.
I know it’s the age and hormones and all that stuff.
But it’s also something more.
It’s losing innocence.
It’s knowing a little more than she wants to know.
It’s seeing friends change and deciding if you want to change, too.
It’s hearing people snicker out of earshot and wonder if it’s you they are talking about.
It’s staring yourself down in the mirror daily, wondering if you’re good enough.
I wish I could put them in a protective bubble where only good things happen to them for the rest of their lives. I know that’s not possible, but I’ve wished it a thousand times.
I wish I could adequately explain that these days, these middle school years, don’t mean anything in the grand scheme of LIFE. Mean girls will grow up to be mean women; the cute boys are going to be balding and divorced one day. I’ve been to high-school reunions…I speak the truth.
I wish they could see how truly beautiful and unique they are. They are special. They have their own gifts and talents; they don’t have to be like everyone else.
I wish they knew that this awkward phase doesn’t last forever.
Everyone (well, almost everyone) outgrows it.
I wish I could let them see a glimpse of the future.
I wish I could show them that everything turns out okay in the end.
I also wish they come to understand the dangers of people on the internet – and not from learning the hard way.
I wish I could preserve their innocence, their eagerness, for life.
But most of all?
Most of all, I wish them peace and love.
I want them to be happy kids who develop into happy adults.
I want them to feel safe and unconditionally loved under my roof.
That’s what we all wish for, isn’t it?
I know I do.