On the very same day her sister graduated from high school, our younger princess, Sarah, finished grade seven and prepared to move on to high school herself. Sarah is princess is name and attitude, but not in dress, so she borrowed a pretty black dress from her older sister (who is actually smaller than she is, incidentally). Ever the individual, and finding herself without dress shoes, she wore her winged sneakers. The effect really must be seen to be appreciated.
I was feeling quite emotional since older sister was having “real” grad, but also feeling like my sweet baby had grown up far too quickly as well. Sarah is the daughter I don't talk about as much, but she is as much blessing as her sister. She is my homebirth baby, my lawyer to be (the girl can argue anything!) my beauty queen in skinny jeans and with the biggest attitude. It's not that she necessarily believes the world owes her, but more that she simply doesn't care what most people think about her. I wish I had been more like that when I was a teen! She has always been the child to present her case when she wants something and is concerned that we might have objections. She carefully researches and explains her point of view. Smart little stinker!
At any rate, this same little girl (who is nearly taller than I am!) was leaving her elementary school and, through a series of district wide changes, being separated from several of her best friends. Not easy for most kids, but for one who loves from the deepest part of herself, very difficult.
We arrived at her luncheon ceremony to find that there were not enough chairs. Interestingly enough, I attended school here from the age of 13 and graduated from one of the local high schools, but this small town's flavour has changed so much with the migration of city people to the area. I had not bonded with the mothers of her school even during the years of standing outside making polite conversation with some but mostly being ignored. I still find that ironic, given that I am from here! We did finally find her best friend's mom and I sat near her.
There was an award ceremony during which the two teachers presented certificates both serious and silly. Sarah even earned a new award – The Silver Shoe Award – for her crazy shoes! Then came the moment which shocked us both. Sarah had received 100% on her science exam and thus earned the Science award for the grade! :) There was then a very sad few moments as the class took time to remember a young lady who had died in a car accident during the course of the year. When her grandmother made the presentation, I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. It had been difficult even for us parents to see our children grapple with this kind of loss at such a young age.
The ceremony ended with a fun AV presentation some of the boys had put together. Included were baby pictures and current ones of the class and even a photo of the girl who had been lost to that car crash. Again, probably not too many dry eyes in the room.
Afterward, there was much picture taking on the part of proud parents, cake eating by all, and good-byes between staff and students. I was so proud to see the pride in Sarah's teachers' eyes as they congratulated and encouraged her. I hope that she won't waste her not unconsiderable intelligence (inherited from her father) during her high school years. I am also glad that in all of the separation which took place, she is still in school with her best friend and that she has chosen her friends wisely. In the next few years with all of the growing up and craziness, she will need steady and reliable friends.
And so begins a new chapter. One child embarking on her journey as a young adult and the other foraying into the wilderness which is high school. ;) I am so proud of them both.