Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wake Up Call

Yesterday I had a major wake up call. Madeleine, my 14 year old, reminded me that we have a parent/student orientation at the High School tonight for incoming freshman. I had completely forgotten about this, but she was right. There it was, in my handwriting, in the family bible calendar. How could this have slipped my mind so completely? Especially since Wednesday night is my night to work at the library. I hadn't even asked my boss for the night off. This is so not like me.

Then it hit me. My wake up call. Madeleine would be in HIGH SCHOOL in September. HIGH SCHOOL! Of course, intellectually I knew that she would be a freshman next year. And that she would be changing schools. I'm not sad or emotional about this, but stunned. So, why does the fact that she will be a High Schooler and not a Middle Schooler bring me up short? My friends think it's because she's my baby. I don't know, though. She is my youngest child, true. But, I've never thought of her as my "baby". Maybe when you only have 2 kids and they are 2 1/2 years apart, the youngest one isn't really a baby in comparison to the oldest. Certainly, I never babied her. She would not have stood for that. Even as a baby, she was not one to be cuddled and cooed over. She was independent and feisty from the get go.

When I really stop and think about it, I think what is so shocking is that HS has gone by so quickly for Katie, my older daughter. And I've seen how much she has grown and changed from a freshman to a junior. And some of those changes have been painful. Madeleine is at such a cool stage in her life right now. She has a wonderful group of friends, she is starting to spread her wings socially and she is just a delight. I guess I want to hold on to that a little bit longer. I'm not anxious for her to become more independent and pull away from Geoff and me. I guess I just want to hold on to her for awhile longer. Maybe she is my baby afterall.


Terra said...

oh no. I so would have let that slip my mind too. HS can not be far enough away for me!

Tammy Howard said...

First of all, she is just lovely!!!

Second - isn't it crazy when emotions sneak up on you like that? I was like that with my 40th b-day. People kept talking like it was a big deal, but I just didn't see it. Wasn't dreading it at ALL. No worries. Then I woke up that morning and thought, "Oh my God I'm FORTY" and I hated it. Just for a second. But it caught me completely off guard.

Maybe she is your baby...

Debbie said...

I feel your pain. My youngest starts middle school and I'm not sure I'm ready for that!

B said...

High School hey? I think they can still be our babies and be in HS. I'm not there yet with my kiddos but have every intention of ensuring they are still my babes even if they are getting that big.

Celine said...

Oh boy! Talk about growing fast huh?
Madeleine is beautiful!

Ronnica said...

Oh, fun times!

Anonymous said...

Pam...our children are always our Babies. I don't think that they ever really grow up. I only have Ashley and even with her being in College I dread when when my job will be over. Or then again some days I think OHHHH will she ever just grow up. It is all so scary and so sad and mixed in with so much happiness. I don't blame you at all for having such mixed emotions....I don't think that we as parents are as ready for the next step in life as our children are. Have fun tonight!


Whitney said...

I teach at a K-12 school, and our school dances are typically reserved only for the grades 9-12 high school students. However, our end-of-year dance is entitled, "Good-bye Seniors, Hello Freshmen," and current 8th graders/incoming freshmen get to attend this final dance of the year.

It is nice that you write about these milestones. It will be fun (and rather emotional) to look back at these entries in the future... especially when :::gasp::: she graduates from high school four years from now... :)

Pam said...

Terra - I can NOT tell you how fast the time has flown. When we moved back to RI (in 2001) Madeleine was in 1st Grade and now she is about to start HS. It all went by in such a blur.

Tammy - Yes, it is crazy how my emotions have been sneaking up on me lately. It's really not like me. Maybe it's because my "full-time" parenting is coming to a close. I know I still have Madeleine home for four more years, but I also know how fast those 4 years will fly.

Debbie - I was petrified when my oldest started MS. But, it turned out to be OK. Not nearly as bad as I had imagined. There were some rough moments, to be sure, but overall it was OK.

B - I suppose it's true that your children are always your babies - and you will always worry about them. *sigh*

Celine - Yes, my girls have grown very fast. Maybe too fast!

Ronnica - The teen years... fun!

Colleen - I think you said it best. I'm definitely not ready for the next step, though both Katie and Madeleine are more than ready. And I'm with you on the "when will they ever grow up" part, as well. I guess we want it all, huh?

Whitney - It WILL be fun to look back in a few years. As a matter of fact, in the meeting tonight I couldn't help but remember that I sat in that same seat three years ago when my older daughter started HS. This time it all seemed kind of quaint to me. Though for the first time parents, I'm sure they thought it was all so serious and scary.

Sandy said...

OMG, where'd TerryTerradactyl go? That photo took my breath away.

Pam said...

Sandy - Don't be fooled by that angelic face. Terry is still lurking under there. Only she doesn't show her face very often any more!


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