It is a tightrope act, when you have a blog and a very close to 13 year old daughter. No longer can I lightly discuss her antics openly, especially after I taught her to, you know, READ. But there are a couple of things going on around here that I wanted to share. My filter is on high alert as I avoid the inappropriate sharing of anything that might embarrass her.
At the start of this school year (and in all the years leading up to it) my oldest child was very shy, self conscious, withdrawn, and insecure. She spoke nonstop of her desire to attend public school, which I believe was born out of an intense need for girlfriends. She has one very dear friend, but we haven’t been able to spend a lot of time with her. We are very active within our homeschooling circles, but last year there weren’t a lot of older girls. Cailey, on the other hand, is my social butterfly and is blessed to be surrounded by many many sweet girlfriends.
As far as Emme attending Junior High in our area, the school that we’re zoned for is way NOT ideal, and because my first born child shares my DNA, I know for certain that she would be drawn to the very worst influences possible.
My poor sweet parents. I aged them horribly, and that was just because of the stuff that they FOUND OUT about…
Anyhoo. What I wanted to share is the amazing transformation that we’ve seen in Emme in the last few months. I believe that it began when we put her into Classical Conversations in August. She immediately bonded with the girls in her Challenge A program, only 1 of which she knew prior to the start of the year. She had found her tribe.
She formed fast friendships with the girls in her A.H.G. Pipa group (after a summer lock in). Then she began swimming on a Swim Team, and also bonded with the older girls. And finally began attending a weekly Bible Study with girls ages 12-15. Some of these friendships have overlapped with Swim Team and Classical Conversations.
I’ve watched this child begin to stand at her full height (taller than me), look strangers in the eye when speaking to them, and she has morphed into the life of the party. Her confidence has grown by leaps and bounds. I love nothing more than to stand back and watch her giggle and be silly with her com padres.
The best part of the whole thing is that I know each of these girls, and they are a WONDERFUL influence. It is like I stepped in and hand picked each of her friends, every mother’s dream I suppose. Only I didn’t.
I had a conversation with my dad last weekend, wherein he talked to me about a situation my step-sister was having with her own 15 year old daughter. This girl is hanging around with a rough crowd, has become extremely belligerent, disrespectful, and is obviously very angry and unhappy. My heart breaks for her parents. They feel powerless. As my dad eloquently said, this ought to be the time of her life, and she is miserable.
I am counting each and every blessing as we are not in that situation. (And I know it can happen in the blink of an eye.) For now, my daughter has no qualms sharing her innermost dreams and thoughts. I am so thankful for this time. And in the spirit of full disclosure, things are most certainly NOT always rosy, as I am tiptoeing through menopause while my daughter embraces puberty. HORMONAL PARTY AT MY HOUSE.
I should also state for the record that Emme has completely ceased with talk of wanting to end homeschooling and attending a public school. This makes my job so much easier, and lessens the amount of time spent searching for a military school. In a harsh climate.
On Saturday night, Emme attended a semi-formal homeschooling dance. A dear friend was one of the organizers and she and her team provided a wonderfully safe environment that those of us homeschooling parents who are HIGH-STRUNG, could be comfortable with. There was a strictly enforced dress code and behavior policy and LOTS OF CHAPERONES. (This did not stop my husband from threatening to dress in camo and stake out the situation from a nearby roof.)
Emme’s Aunt Trish came over on Saturday afternoon to help her with her hair and makeup. Honestly, she was breath taking. I’m certain that her friends attending the dance had never seen her wearing shoes, much less A DRESS. And a fancy one at that (found at Goodwill…GORGEOUS). I drove her to the ball, and on the way she confided to me that she was nervous. Those nerves were dispelled once we got out of the car and a couple of her friends squealed her name from across the parking lot, as they were escorted in with their own parent, and they all entered giggling and cooing over one another. (I wish I wish I could share photographic evidence, but that would be breaking my confidentiality clause with my daughter.)
She hasn’t stopped talking about what a wonderful time she had. And my heart is overflowing as I watch this beautiful flower bloom before my eyes.