Every first day of school year is a mixture of excitement and a bit of sadness, but it feels stronger this year. Maybe it's because we're heading into the teenage years, perhaps it's because the topic of dating has been broached, it could even be the fact that Eldest looks more grown up these days. I see very little of my pigtailed toddler in her anymore. Though in my heart she'll always be my little girl, it's very clear that she is now a young woman.
Oh, my heart. She is my heart, and I am overwhelmed on every first day of school by how much more she has blossomed from the year before. This is her 4th school in four years, and even though she was anxious for the first time this morning, she still put a smile on her face and readied herself for a new year of wonderful possibilities.
Eldest amazes me. She's been called an old soul and mature beyond her years before, though as a parent I see all sides to her~including the super goofy and irresponsible. But she's growing. These things are to be expected. What usually isn't is the grace that she manages to bear even in difficult times and the quiet confidence she carries in new situations.
Sometimes I don't think there are enough words, the right words, for me to tell her how much I love her and how proud I am of the young woman she's becoming. It all seems to fall short. I worry that she doesn't know.
But then she'll turn to me in the car as she prepares to leave for her first day of 7th grade and smile. "I'm okay, Mom. I love you."
Maybe she does know after all.
A very happy first day of Junior High to my sweetest, most capable daughter. I love you so and cannot wait to see you at pick-up time!