Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sixth Grade and First Grade

So we’ve finished two months of this school year. How’s it going?

Sixth grade seems to agree with Alyssa. She comes home with homework most nights but doesn’t complain about it, gets it done with minimal fuss and has passed all tests given to her.

She still has some pretty fabulous friends. Just this year, though, she’s mentioned the ‘popular’ kids. She actually puts air quotes around the word popular. Ha. She’s funny. She doesn’t understand how kids are deemed ‘popular.’ I think she wants to understand it so she can crack the code. She says she doesn’t care if she’s popular but I think every kid wants to be part of the cool crowd.

The thing is, she and her core group of friends are sort of their own kind if ‘in’ crowd and I’ve been trying to explain that to her. I’ve told her how it was when I was in school, how much I really just wanted to hang with people I actually liked rather than with people everyone else though was ‘cool.’

I think she gets it even as she ponders the necessity of a hoodie in hopes of fitting in.

We put some more color in her hair this past weekend and she tried on a hoodie but hated the way it felt. She picked out a black jacket that zips up the front instead. She looks pretty cool to me.

First grade is way less socially stressful, let me tell you. In first grade, it doesn’t matter if you wear the right clothes or shoes. First grade is all about spelling tests (done verbally for Miss O, thanks so much) and learning to eat lunch at school.

First grade has brought two falls in the hallway and one pinched hand during gym class. Olivia’s being put through the physical wringer, that’s for sure.

But she seems as happy as her sister. She still doesn’t really care if she has friends but she’s taking more if an interest in what those non-friend classmates are up to. It’s a start, I think, toward wanting to interact.

What I want most for both of my girls is that they be happy. That they find people who let them be themselves and make them feel good about who they are. I want them to work hard and to their fullest potential. I want them to make mistakes and learn from them, I want them to learn to laugh, at themselves and life in general.

I hope sixth grade and first grade continue on this path, a path that leave happy, if tired, kids each night. They’re learning, both academically and socially. They’re learning their way in their worlds, worlds that don’t always include me. But I’m there, on the periphery, a steadying hand when needed, a cheerleader, a shoulder. Whatever they need from me, in these grades and beyond.

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