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Another summer has FLOWN by, and I find myself again stuffing backpacks, packing lunches, and walking smiling faces to school each day.  How the year drags on and the summer flies by remains a mystery to me.  Yet, here I am, and there they are.

In school.

This school year marked a couple of transitions for our household:  the first year Little Angel made it to “big school”, and the first year Big Boy went to Junior High.  Yes, Junior High.  As if…

Most of those close to me thought Angel Baby’s move would be the hardest on me (myself included), but to my surprise, that has not turned out to be the case.

Junior High.

Let me say it another way:  J-U-N-I-O-R-H-I-G-H!!!!!

Now, why the emphasis, Jess?  Why the drama?  Because I just simply cannot believe it.  I can’t believe my sweet child is old enough to be in junior high.  I can’t believe I am old enough to have a kid in junior high. How the heck did that happen?  How did the time pass so quickly?  Wasn’t I just chasing him around the house in circles? (Oh, I actually was.  Never mind.)  Anyway, wasn’t he just learning how to brush his teeth and say “ball” for the first time?  Wasn’t he pointing out every truck that went by and screaming out the names of them?  “Bulldozer! Excavator! Banana!”

And now he is in junior high.  He walks to school without me.  He won’t hug me goodbye (it’s ok…I gave it up for him.  FOR HIM!).  He texts me on his cell phone (*yikes*) as he walks home…without me.  He changes classes without guidance.  How did this happen?! When did I blink my eyes for that faint moment that he went from diapers to football practice?  It all seems so unfair, yet so very right.

Big Boy is a giant child.  Always has been.  Born at 22 inches, he has been heads and shoulders above the rest from day one.  Literally.  That being the case, he’s likewise always been considered as “older” than he actually is.  A problem this was when he was four and people expected him to act like a six-year old.  But now he fits into his body, both in time and space.  Now that giant body has a purpose; to get itself through junior high.  Watching him walk off to school that first day gave my heart both a tug and a sense of fulfillment as I watched a now young man actually BE old enough to fit into his “young man body”…as off to junior high he went.

And behind I stayed.  Behind to consider what was actually happening right in front of me; all the changes I had to adjust to.  I was still wrestling with the fact that both he and I were old enough for the words “junior high” to even be in our vocabulary when I also had to wrestle with how little he now needs me.  He walks to and from school without me.  Changes classes without me.  Organizes (ha!) his homework without me.  Discusses issues with his teachers on his own.  And gets home SO MUCH LATER!!  I’m used to him getting home at 3:30, but now 4:30? I can barely stand it!

But wait….then this….

Insert bursting through the door after day 1 of junior high:  “Hey Mom!  I ran into the football coach at school today.  He wants me to play!  Can I?”

Well, Dad being…ahem…you know…of COURSE it was ok!

“Great!  It starts today!  We have practice every day after school, except Wednesday, till 6:15!”

WWWHHAATT?!?!?!? I thought I had to get used to you coming home at 4:30, not 6:15!!!  NO, this is NOT ok.  No! NO! NO!”

“Awesome, buddy.  That sounds great!” (Now I’ll go unswallow my tongue.)

“Oh, and there’s more, mom.  We play with the 7th and 8th graders and next to the high schoolers!  We share water jugs with them.”

(I’m sorry.  Could someone please scrape my corpse off the sidewalk right now?)

Weakly…“Great, buddy.  That will be so fun!”

Ok, hold the phone! (Haven’t heard that in a while, have you?)  So now I need to get used to you going to/coming from school without me, getting home at 6:15, being old, AND surrounding yourself with crazy pre-teen AND teen boys?!?!  Oh sure, just go ahead and GROW UP in one single, solitary day!  (Remember, this was the FIRST day of school that the football scenario went down.) Here you go kid: The World.  Have at it.

Except, inside, I’m dying!  Trying with all my might to Let Go and Let God because the Lord Himself knows, He’s got it from here!  All of me wants to control my pre-teen’s surroundings, his environment, to make it as safe, holy, purposeful, and protective as possible.  But I can’t.  And I shouldn’t.  That’s God’s job, not mine.  All I know I can do is supply Big Boy with ample love, support, faith, and as many prayers as possible at home while hoping beyond hope that that is enough to carry him into the big, bad world.  I knew and know that the days are coming when my input into his life is a mere trifle, a breeze really.  He will have to make decisions on his own.

I knew the day was coming.  I just knew.

I just hoped it wouldn’t.

God bless you, Big Boy.  You are the single greatest, solitary YOU in the whole world, and I am honored to be your momma.  Godspeed, my love.