Everything’s Changed

This week changed EVERYTHING. Our lives are completely going to change. I’m freaking out.

See, Maggie’s 13. She’s in the 7th grade, just as I wished, because I didn’t want her to have to deal with the intricacies of high school a year early, like I did. I thought it would be best for her to have that additional year under her belt before she had to face all the crap that comes with being in high school.

As often happens, however, God has other plans.

She came to us a couple of months ago to discuss the possibility of skipping the 8th grade and going to high school next year. I was completely against it – not because I thought she couldn’t handle it academically, but because she’s been so sheltered by being in Christian school her whole life. I worry about her jumping into school with the rest of the world and the culture shock being so violent that she can’t handle it. She & I went and discussed it with her principal and we discussed options and decided to spend more time praying about it & see what happens.

After talking more with Steve, we thought about homeschooling her for next year. See, she’s bored to tears at school. She’s been taking the 8th grade curriculum all year and she’s got approximately a 98% average. They really can’t do much for her next year. So the options were homeschooling and high school. I didn’t know what would be best for her.

Maggie came home and informed us that the incoming freshman orientation was this past Tuesday. We made a plan to attend that and see what’s what.

From the moment we walked in the front door, Maggie’s demeanor changed. She became 3 years older and more mature, smiled and exuded confidence. We sat in the auditorium and listened to the principal, counselors and some of the teachers talk about registration, adjusting to high school – the whole 9 yards. We looked at the curriculum guide and she came alive. Seeing courses she didn’t know even existed, seeing opportunities to explore and learn, the ability to work at her skill level – she was vibrant.

When the speechifying was done, we took a trip around the school to check out a couple of the electives she was interested in. This is where it got REALLY weird for me. See, this high school is the high school I graduated from 25 years ago. Except that it’s had an addition put on, so it’s the same AND different. We were walking through the older part by the auditorium, down the hall where I took Chemistry with Dr. Dave, Algebra with Mr. Berkner, Biology with Mrs. Oughton, past the lockers of my friends towards the choir room where I spent so much time. Found my old locker and then discovered that the choir room is the same, but opens on the opposite wall now. Walked in and traveled back 25 years. So weird. We waited our turn to talk to Mr. Rausch, who began his career at this school my junior year. When it was our turn, he just said, “Now, Christy, I KNOW you can’t possibly have a child coming here….” So cool that he remembered me and really freaky to introduce my daughter to my high school choir director, knowing I was going to entrust her musical education to him.

We visited the home economics department because she’s interested in the intro to fashion/interior design and intro to personal development/foods classes. Then we cornered the assistant principal to ask about what we would need to do to enroll her in the fall.

After explaining her situation – that’s she’s taking all 8th grade classes and acing them – the asst. principal shocked & surprised me. All the obstacles I thought would be before us were gone. No testing needed. All they needed was for Maggie’s school to sign off that she’s met the requirements for graduation & she’d be set. Whoa. WHOA, there. I was not prepared for that. At all. Maggie, on the other hand, became radiant.

Right there, I realized it was happening. There was nothing I could do to stop it – all the doors had been swung wide open by God and it was obvious that He wanted this to happen.

The next day I spoke to Maggie’s principal and shared what we learned. She was all in. She decided that, since it’s the beginning of the new semester, she’d officially make Maggie an 8th grader so she can graduate with the other 8th graders in the spring.

It’s happening. My baby girl is going to the big, bad high school. And, much to my consternation and despair, I’ve somehow just lost an entire year with her. One less year to have her here with us. I do not like it. Not one bit. I can’t fight it because it’s obviously God’s will, but I’m not happy.

That said, however, this girl is going to TEAR UP the high school. They better look out, because this girl has been waiting for these opportunities for a long, long time.

My baby’s gonna be a Blue Streak. Wow.