Passages

I had a quick conversation with the Princess’ grandpa yesterday. He asked if I would be ready for the “hand-off” on the 18th. I’m easily confused this time of year with everything going on in my mind regarding end-of-year wrap up and planning/proposing/implementing for next year. His question threw me. Especially since tomorrow’s the 18th and I really had no idea what he was talking about.

He was talking about our summer plans with Princess! We’ve got a bit of confusion about the dates, but I’m thrilled to spend as much time with our young lady as I can get. So whatever is decided, I’ll work with it. The Princess will turn 5 in just a few weeks. Five years old! Time is flying by so quickly! This is her first summer trip sans parents and she’s going to spend time with grandpa, Hub & me, and Queen Mum & Da before heading back home with the Writer. We’re all looking forward to our new (possibly annual) summer adventure!

The whole reason P’s grandpa & I were able to even chat yesterday was because he was my “Lunch Bunch’s” bus driver for our trip to his high school.

Yes, my little darlings are growing up and in a few short weeks will no longer be Cougars. They will be Knights!

Our hosts at the high school were my Cougars from yesteryear and it was so exciting/amazing/thrilling to see how my former Cougars/current Knights/future INDEPENDENT ADULTS(!) have grown and matured during their time in high school.

I just finished reading a daddy blog that chronicled what happened during and after a mishap on the Little League field and how he was saddened to see how his 7-year old little boy was no longer needing a daddy to cradle him through the hurt but wanted to work through the pain and finish the game. The Writer writes often about how she wishes the Princess would stay “this age” just a while longer. I’ve seen the same theme written on other parenting blogs. I hear the pain/wistfulness/longing in their voices.

And here I am … watching my former students growing into amazing young adults and beaming with absolute pride because I know that the two years I worked with them while they were in junior high school were not for naught.

I love watching my students mature into incredible young adults! I love speaking to them after they’ve graduated and listening to their plans, dreams, and goals for their futures. I love to see how they finally understand that their actions really do have consequences. And I love to hear them say, “Mrs. Alvarado, you were right. I should/shouldn’t have ____ .” Not because I want to rub it in their faces with an “I told you so.” I love to listen to them tell me why they should or shouldn’t have done whatever it happens to be that we’re talking about. I love to hear them share with their younger peers what happened when they caved to peer pressure and the patience in their voices when they say, “I know you’re not hearing me right now, but one day you’ll understand what I’m saying.” Their words are the words of wisdom and they speak volumes.

I don’t want them to grow up too fast, though. I want them to enjoy every positive experience they possibly can before the responsibilities of adulthood become their primary focus.

The contrast of the teachers working hard to help students become successful independent adults and their parents who struggle with the emotions of “Don’t grow up so fast! Please need me for just a little bit longer!” and “How much longer will he let me kiss him/her in front of his friends?” is mind-blowing.

Parents, thank you for entrusting us with your children. Please continue to know that as they grow older, YOU are their heroes (they tell us this all the time) and they need you. Your children in the age group that I work with need you now more than ever. It’s true that they don’t need you to show them how to tie their shoes or clean their rooms. They’ve grown past that. They need you in a myriad of different ways as they grow into adulthood. Please be there for them. Your ‘tweens & teens may say they don’t need you, but they do. They really, really do.

It’s an amazing journey from the cradle to adulthood. Thank you for letting the educators in your children’s lives help them along in their journey.

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