Today is Jane’s last day of fifth grade. There will be a culmination ceremony tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more thrilled that the school doesn’t call it a graduation. The change in my daughter and her friends has been remarkable. When they entered fifth grade I remember standing at the school gates, a little breathy. The fifth grade girls were hugging and lifting the first grade kids, cooing at them all the while, “Ooh Dorothy you’re so cute.” I recall looking at them, my daughter and her friends alike, thinking they’re big. This is the moment they become big kids.
But it wasn’t.
When I walk to the morning chapel, and navigate my way through 6th, 7th and 8th grade kids, I realize they are big. I am 5’6″ tall and I find myself looking up a number of kids in the beginning of the year, and even more of them toward the end. The Middle School Kids, those are the big kids. Jane will join them next year. In fact I’ll be buying some of her new uniforms this week, and I know she’s very excited to finally shake the white polo shirt and blue shorts she’s worn for the past three years.
What’s wonderful about my daughter in this moment in time is that she’s changing, and growing, and it’s all so pleasant. She’s excited about new adventures, she’s surrounded by great kids, and she’s joyful. Sometimes we even hold hands in public, but less and less I’m afraid. She needs us less, but wants us more.
Eleven is sweet.