It's a cliche, I know, but it's so oft repeated because it's so true: the older you get, the faster it goes. This year has gone by so incredibly quickly; before I knew it, another school year was upon us. Summer fun was done, school supplies were purchased, and lunch menu calendars were taped to the inside of the pantry.
Calendars, plural, because this year, Caroline entered middle school. Middle school!! My big girl is a fifth grader which, here in the Fayetteville Public School District, means middle school. She was so excited to have graduated from Holcomb Elementary; periodically throughout the summer, the subject of school would come up and it was always met with enthusiasm from my eldest child. The primary source of excitement? The locker. Good thing we're focused on what's important.
I remember, though, that it's all important at that age. You hit middle school, and the peer pressure accelerates. The desire to fit in is amplified and multiplied by six - as in, you now have six class periods with slightly different peer groups in each, and the need to adjust throughout the day a new skill to learn. Apparently, the locker decorating is part of the language of fifth grade girls, so we happily provided Caroline with the basics of a dry erase board, magnets and a mirror for her locker. Sorry, but I had to draw a line at the tiny faux chandelier. I'm cool, but I'm not THAT cool.
John, on the other hand, was back to Holcomb Elementary. Third grade is a big year - multiplication, division, cursive handwriting. We were delighted to learn that he has the same teacher Caroline had in third grade, so we know we're in for a great year. The biggest difference for John this year is that he's at school without his big sister. In fact, based on the way they divide the grades between elementary, middle, junior high, and high school, it will be six years before they're back on the same campus, and then as a freshman and junior in high school.
I can't think about that right now.
Instead, I'll focus on the fun they'll have as third and fifth graders, on the things they'll learn, the friends they'll make, and field trips they'll take. I'll try to ask the right questions at the dinner table so that I hear more about their day than it was "fine" and a recap of what was for lunch. So far, so good - two months in and we still look forward to going to school each morning!