He always asks right before school starts, what I remember about that grade.
I told him I remember crying and crying and crying the night before school started in 6th grade. I was so scared. And so, so, so alone. I was moving to a new school. And it was the biggest school I had ever been to. 300+ kids in my grade. I had a locker. And my pants, that were teal with little gold diamonds on them, were way too short (because even at that age I was very tall, and tall pants weren’t a thing back then.) I had to make new friends that year. I met my best friend. I got caught passing a note and it got stapled to the bulletin board. I had to read aloud the only passage in a book that had a curse word in English class, I was mortified. I started learning to type that year. Vanilla Ice rang in the new year at time square. And my hair was very big. Oh and I got braces and glasses within weeks of one another. And Mr. Biffle, my math teacher…..was always catching people whispering “sweet nothings” to each other.
I remember that year very well. And I still see and talk to the people I turned 12 years old with.
And I wonder if he will too.
Though his pants were not too short. I always make sure of that. I always ask if what he’s wearing makes him feel confident and good. And we worked a little extra on his hair. I let him throw out all his shoes that had holes in them and on went the new shoes…. his favorite color. Highlighter. (Well, that’s what we call it anyway)
And when he walks in the school there are so many “HI DINO DUDE’S!!!” that he just grins and smiles and loves every bit of it. He’s not scared. Not one tiny bit. And that makes me so happy. He’s excited for the challenges of the year. He’s excited for sports and music and whatever else he throws himself into.
And he came home worn out from the day. Ate some jello and read a book. And fell sound asleep.
6th grade can wear a kid out. So I let him sleep, while I get things ready for the apple feast (which will consist of apple pancakes this year. And sparkling apple juice.