It’s here…the much-longed-for/dreaded first day of school. The Gymnast is now a 3rd grader! In another week, the Little Ballerina will start preschool. For three days out of the week, I will be home alone with only my thoughts for company. OK, not true – I will fill those few hours with all the projects I’ve been putting off all summer, primarily housework. Exciting, right?!?
But for the Gymnast (and to some degree the Little Ballerina as well), back to school means back to growing up too fast. I remember being in 3rd grade. That was the year I fell in love with reading, but it was also the year I learned half a dozen bad words and how to use them. I remember my best friends, my first sleepover parties, and the tragedy of losing a classmate to a house fire. I remember the presidential election – it was 1988, and George Bush made his famous “no new taxes” promise. Third grade was, for me, the year I became aware of the world outside my home and family. And what a big world it is.
Funny thing is, my Gymnast is way ahead of where I was in 3rd grade. As a military kid, she’s spent 30 months of her life wondering if her deployed daddy will make it home alive. She’s seen war on the news, and she’s seen the reality of war in the friends whose dads didn’t make it home alive. She’s learned through gymnastics how to stay calm under pressure – something I still struggle with. She knows the difference between Republicans and Democrats and between capitalism and communism. She even knows all the bad words (thanks, General). Her world is so much bigger than mine was at her age, and she seems to be handling it just fine.
My prayer for my girls is always that they grow up healthy, happy, and strong, and God is certainly answering those prayers. I don’t have to worry. That leaves me free to, say, make some chocolate chip oatmeal cookies while I wait for my 3rd grader to come home and tell me about her day.
Back to the kitchen I go!