Two years ago I wrote a post on my East Memphis Moms blog called Motherhood: Phase 3. For the first time I had both of my kids in school 5 days/week. The way I looked at it, I was entering the third phase of motherhood:
Phase One is when you’re up every few hours feeding and changing your completely helpless baby. Phase Two is when you’re doing your best to keep your toddler/preschooler alive, happy and learning how to behave and what red looks like, how to share, sing the ABC song and that eleventeen isn’t a number. Phase Three is school….at least covering elementary school. I’ve talked with some middle and high school parents and their life sounds pretty different from mine, so I’m thinking that’s another animal all together.
Last night my big kid graduated from elementary school. They sang, handed out awards and certificates, gave some short speeches, had a “moment of silence to mourn the end of recess” and even banged on a few cups and metal pails. In a few short months I’ll have a middle schooler (and meanwhile I’ll be reliving elementary school with my rising 1st grader), which I figure must be Phase 4 of Motherhood.
My son’s school and Plano ISD have been working hard to get him, and us, ready for middle school. There have been tours and talks. He’s done his map testing, selected a band instrument (he got into percussion!!) and survived another puberty talk. Meanwhile, I participated in a Preparing for Middle School session and learned that growth during puberty is the second fastest time of grow for a human (development in the womb is #1). Yikes.
The biggest change we’ve seen so far is in his desire to look a certain way. He started fixing his hair before school recently, is very interested in getting certain clothes/socks/sneakers and last night he agreed he should tuck in his class t-shirt and wear a belt (which matched his sneakers). Amazing.
While we expect many other changes, for now I’m going to do my best to cherish my soon-to-be rising 6th grader. Most of the time he’s a really great kid and I feel lucky to be his mom. Here’s hoping the last 11 1/2 years of motherhood have prepared me for what’s coming. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little scared.