Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Back to June

Oh my goodness it's October and I haven't even gotten to June yet, when Daisy graduated from elementary school. 

I think it's safe to say that Daisy's village was concerned about her transition to middle school. The elementary school years weren't smooth for multiple reasons. And Daisy herself had recently wondered outloud if she should repeat 5th grade instead of moving on.  Then, a week before graduation, Daisy told me she had volunteered to speak at the ceremony and was working on her speech. She asked me for advice because she wanted to stand out.

My daughter gravitates toward the spotlight, but she doesn't always have a plan before she gets there. As her mother who gravitates toward not-spotlight, I was worried. Still, it was obvious that what her speech needed was a joke. Daisy's sometime BFF turned enemy with very little fr had taunted Daisy for years about launching a hula hoop into the audience during a school performance, hitting a student from another school in the head. The punchline was "kids in TWO schools are talking about you." 

And yet, just as I was stressing about talking to 200 people for the first time in my new job, my little girl marched up to her school podium with a pained expression that made my hands shake before speaking in a strong voice to more than 200 people. She owned the unfortunate hula hoop incident and enjoyed the response she got. The ceremony felt like more of a real turning point than I had anticipated.

Since then, Daisy's taken on middle school like a champ. She's keeping her unnaturally heavy backpack organized. She's concerned about her grades. She hands me her PE clothes to wash weekly. She enrolled in a cooking program and joined the book club. I'm telling you she remembers her combination for her regular locker AND her PE locker. And, just yesterday, she was so embarrassed when I was blasting Depeche Mode in the car after school that she held her head between her legs for a solid mile.

I haven't been in the mood for Depeche in so long - but I'm bringing Everything Counts into our family jams. Who can resist the strange parallel of making your kid in middle school uncomfortable with music you listened to when you were an uncomfortable kid in middle school. I've really only scratched the surface on this one.