Yesterday the kids started school. Sadly the boy said it made him nervous to see my camera so I put it away and got no pictures of the first day. We spent the morning running them all over the place and getting them started. The middle dd had no problems whatsoever, she even sat and did some morning worksheet sitting at her desk while I talked with her teacher. The boy fared better than I was expecting and yet still shed some tears. But apparently ten minutes after we left all was fine and he had a grand old time. He is even looking forward to tomorrow. The eldest experienced a last minute case of the nerves. Everything was fine until we sat in a room with someone to put together her schedule and see what was left in the electives for the semester. I noticed “the look” on her face. This is a look that I cannot describe. It’s not really fear but more of her suddenly second guessing her decision. With this look means she isn’t too fond of talking to anyone, not even her parents. We took a tour and very quickly she was dropped off in her homeroom and we were whisked back to the front office to inquire about the bus. At the elementary, I spoke with teachers and got their contact info. At middle school, I wasn’t important. This perplexes me quite a bit. While I am all about giving the middle school aged children more space to grow and be independent, I still want to know what is going on with my kid. Fortunately she shared with me every detail of her day and I feel confident in knowing what is going on. Not so confident about some of the stuff she is hearing though.
Okay so I was no saint at her age. I cussed like a sailor and at about 3 years older than her I was smoking cigarettes and drinking. But there were some things I was still naive about and I wasn’t hearing the same things she is. And even worse it’s extremely homophobic. When I was her age I kind of knew about homosexuality and knew that my parents thought it was awful. I didn’t know details about homosexual acts. Nothing quite like her asking me “do lesbians really suck on each others’ private parts?” (and that was how I found out what she is hearing in between classes!). I am just counting my blessings that I have kept things to where she is comfortable enough that she can come and ask me such things. I would die if I knew what kids might tell her about sex and sexual acts.
The entire day just proved to me how much my kids are growing. As much as I have been looking forward to a time when they were out of the house and I can run around butt naked, it makes me sad. Because there is that real fear that they won’t need me. And yet they do. When they hear things at school and they come to me, they need me. When they are working on homework, they need me. When they want to tell me about the super cool day they had, they need me. And when they want to tell me about the worst day of their life, they need me. They need me, it’s just a huge shift in how they need me.