As I sat in carline watching the middle schoolers pour out of the building... I noticed.
I noticed slumped shoulders on the girls trying to hide their changing bodies.
I noticed the queen bees standing together.
I noticed the wannabes, on the outside.
I noticed boys eager for attention, yet unaware of who they are.
I noticed boys challenging each other using the old macho rules.
I noticed that even the boys feigning confidence had a look of not so sure.
Caught between child and young adult.
Stuck in an awkward phase that they have no control over.
Betrayed by their growing bodies and active thoughts.
I remembered how hard it was to be in this stage.
I remembered how confusing the messages of conformity can be.
I remembered how important my friends were and my need for acceptance.
I suddenly felt sad.
I began to cry... right there in carline as I waited for my own middle schooler to emerge.
Oh sweet ones... I know this is hard, and I promise it is temporary.
Oh my babies... I know I shouldn’t call you that, yet you still have a bit of it left.
Oh my heart... where has the time gone, and why oh why can’t I get it back?
I paused... am I creating a completely safe space away from all of this judgment she faces daily?
Am I a space where she doesn’t need to conform to gain my acceptance?
How can I best ensure that in our home... who she is becoming is exactly who she was intended to be.
I can hold her loosely.
Yes, yes, I know... we want to hang on tight to what WE think they “should” be.
We want to help them conform so that our fears of acceptance for them subside.
We want to project onto them our own insecurities in middle school, so they have foresight.
Yet, if I can manage to hold her loosely... she will have the space to become.
If I can hold her loosely, she won’t have a blueprint to follow, creating the “not enough” effect.
If I can hold her loosely, she will grow in the direction the universe intended.
For she is not mine... she belongs to the world, and while I want to protect her and shield her from the hard lessons... I would only get in the way.
I am here for guidance.
I am here to escort her on this journey... but only for a moment.
Only a small window of her life is spent in my arms, in my home.
I am here to remind her of who she is at her core and help her return to that when in doubt.
I am here to let her fail, so that she can become aware of her strength and resilience.
I am here to remember what it was truly like at her age, so that I can love her through it.
I am here to squeeze her tight, and then open my arms.
Open my arms so that she doesn’t feel confined by my need.
My longing for the past.
My vision of her as a baby.
She is no longer a baby.
She is emerging.
My awareness of my own fears, joys, needs, and core beliefs are imperative now.
This is where it begins my friends.
We are preparing for the big leagues... because the problems get more involved.
The fears... are fueled.
The struggle with control is real as they begin to need us less.
If we, can remember what it felt like... what it really felt like, we are more apt to SEE our children for who they are today instead of who we remember them to be.
We are more capable of introducing ourselves to today’s version of our middle schooler and more open to tomorrow’s version.
We have the ability to either confirm that they are absolutely okay just as they are... or that their peers are right, and they need to take THIS path, in THIS way, to be enough.
I want to be the voice of enough.
I want to be a safe space to grow.
I want to be her hearts home base.
I want my needs to whisper so that her needs can be heard.
I want for her to look back and be the main character in her story, without my journey creating any shadow in her journey.
I will her hold her loosely with my mind, while my heart squeezes her with all I have.