Friday, June 1, 2012

2011-12: Lily

Sixth grade is one of those years I dread.  All the kids come back after Christmas and something has happened--they've either started interest in the opposite sex or they haven't and that makes them "not popular."  My three oldest kids were never really into the popularity game, but I can sense us heading down another, unfamiliar path with Miss Lily.

The last month of sixth grade at our school is extremely hectic.  After we returned from Science Camp, we had the final band concert:
 Lily had mentally checked out of band months ago, but I made her stick it out to the end of the year.  It was not one of her shining moments.
That's one thing I love about the music programs in elementary school:  you get to try a few things and discover what you truly love.  The flute is not Lily's love. (And the viola wasn't mine, as it turned out ;) )

From concerts, we moved onto the biggest project of the year:  a seven-page typewritten paper on the country of choice, which of course was France.  In addition to the paper, she had to make the paper doll, the poster, the travel brochure, and bring a food to share during the Country fair.  Somehow I ended up making a quadruple batch of crepes while she was at school.
But who can resist fresh blackberries and crepes? 

Then came the Middle Ages Festival and the obligatory castle--made out of cocoa crispies, shredded wheat and frosting.
The controversy surrounding this castle will forever be embedded in my memory as one of my greatest mothering errors.  Lily came home from school one day, saying her partner had bailed out on her and Lily would have to complete the project by herself.  My own childhood flashed before my eyes--all the hurt and cruelty--and before I probed further into the situation with a few more questions, I began a lecture about how kids are mean and it's time she's careful with whom she picks as friends because some girls will be friends to your face and mean behind your back and that she needs to choose true friends who won't hurt her feelings.

As I concluded my diatribe, tears welled in her eyes and she blubbered, "She hadn't even hurt my feelings at all until you started telling me all that stuff!"  Stupid mom.  Stupid, stupid mom. How I've wished on a few occasions since that I could retract how I opened her eyes too early and showed her too much too soon.  Just reliving the moment makes me sad all over again.

The best moment of all was when the sixth grade relay team received their trophy and recognition for their victory in March.  I wanted to get a picture of Lily with her beloved Mrs. Ferguson and the trophy, but instead the only shot I got was of the relay team with the principal (thought you all might like to see what she looks like . . .  snicker ;) )

Lily learned that she CAN spell--if she practices. She learned that Mom isn't going to let her quit piano lessons yet.  And she lived her lifelong dreams of winning two races and being Medusa with her favorite teacher ever..  What a year.

Sixth grade--the final year of kidhood, and the beginning of teen angst and excitement.  She's ready.

Am I?  I have all summer to prepare for it, and I think I'll need every single day.


  1. I'll be in that boat very soon with one of my five and it really scares me.
    I really wish that each child came with a specific owners manual. It would just make life a lot easier.
    I hate when I hear someone say, "Life is never easy." My reply is always, "Well, that just sucks."
    Somehow all the mistakes we make and all the worrying we do about certain things works out and before you know it, you have a child getting married or a fine young man on a mission, etc...
    You are a wonderful mother who truly loves her children....that makes all the difference in the world.

  2. Sometimes I'm glad I don't have to go through all those years again.

    Other times I miss it like crazy.

    Onward and upward, Lily!


  3. I so need you to guide me through the next few years. whew.

  4. Lily is a whole new kid in your family! It will be fun to see her grow and mature - She still rules the world as far as I am concerned!!

    I love that girl!

  5. PS: It is really nice of you to leave us posts while you are off trekking!

  6. Oh that first one of her with her flute...priceless! An attitude I encounter on a daily basis!

    We bought a new car today, all day I was thinking of your post on buying the new car... our stories were so similar. We just wanted to get out of dodge before they realized just how worn out our old Yukon was!!

  7. Great, now you have me nervous on the whole instrument thing! We have the "meeting" on Tuesday even at school for Brady to test out an instrument for next year. He is saying he wants to play the trumpet...I'm not so sure he's not just doing it b/c everyone else is?! I guess we'll find out!
    That first picture cracks me up! It sums up your words perfectly!

  8. Oh, I've said a few bonehead things to Katie that I SO wished I could take back. Amazingly, they are resilient and live to fight another day. Lily is amazing and will do great. And YOU will be right behind her doing just fine in the shadows as she learns what's what. It'll hurt your heart some days, but mostly you will be so, so proud.

  9. i am so afraid of parenting children during the school age years. waaaaahhhh!!!