My kids are growing up.
I swear it had to have been just yesterday Abby was puking and yakking all over everything in her path, Sam was screaming his ever-lovin' head off for no reason whatsoever and Kady was glaring at us all, probably plotting our imminent demise much like Stewie Griffin.
Now Abby has a cell phone, a Facebook page and is officially two whole inches taller than her momma.
Sam has braces, wears enough Axe body spray to kill a full grown camel and even though he makes all kinds of noises and faces when there is kissing on TV I know he secretly likes it when it comes on.
Kady has gone from enraged and murderous to free-spirited, I love the color of the world in Kady-Land and -- ooh look! A squirrel!
Tonight was Open House at their school. We went to the Middle School first and it didn't take me long to realize that Abby, who has never, ever been a conformist, is starkly different from most of the other 7th grade girls. She isn't squealy, she is rarely giddy and I can count on one hand the times she's acted like she's just eaten a big ol' bowl of Crazy Flakes and is about to unleash her pubescent freakishness on the world. She is definitely Hoover. I remember when my 7th grade BFF DeLisa and I were in 7th grade we giggled at the drop of a pin. Heck, pins didn't even have to be involved. We giggled because giggling made us giggle.
In the past few weeks Abby has expressed no anxiety over the coming school year. Wait, I take that back - she did mention more than once that she really hoped she got a top locker. (She got a bottom one, by the way.) But tonight we walked into that school - after her being accosted by a classmate who nearly squeezed her in two, all the while squealing and screaming her ears off while Abby just smiled and patted the girl's arm - and Abby got all shy and bashful and backward, much like the little 4 year old who dropped out of PreK because of extreme shyness. The Home Ec teacher scared her. The new coach who is teaching her math class this year "looked mean" she said, even though I think he's charming. After I bought last year's yearbook, watched as she carefully hung a picture of Taylor Lautner in her locker and visited with another Mom we walked across the street to the elementary. She quickly, almost imperceptibly, touched my arm, quietly groaned and said, "Oh man...I need my Zantac." Open House was obviously stressful for her.
Sam waltzed right in to his classroom, found his desk, located his friend Patrick's desk, calculated the distance between the two, visited with his teacher, showed off his braces and in his usual Sam way, touched, poked, prodded and just generally explored the room. I visited with his teacher, who had also been Abby's 5th grade teacher, about orthodontist appointments and supplies and schedules and meetings and volunteering. I was considering a swig of Ab's Zantac at that point.
We went down to Kady's room, discovered that her BFF Jaycee had already chosen two desks side-by-side for them, we looked over the stack of books on her desk, visited with Queen Tammy whose son is in Kady's room again this year (yay!), congratulated her teacher on her recent Las Vegas wedding and then went down to the Indian lady's room for school supplies. (Oh thank the great and mighty Cherokees for free school supplies) When Mrs. Robin asked Kady a question she got suddenly shy and blushed bright pink. After that her hand pretty much stayed in mine.
After a quick visit with Sam's 4th grade teacher we then dropped school supplies back off at classrooms, went back across the street to the Middle School and about halfway there I said, "Ab, if you want I can stay out here while you go back in..." It was an honest, genuine offer and I wouldn't have been hurt in the least had she taken me up on it, but instead her eyes got huge and she said, "NO. I mean, no...really Mom...it's okay if you go in. Really."
So holding Kady's hand, we delivered the 7th grader's supplies to her locker, watched my itty bitty niece tour her 6th grade classrooms and finally, made our way back to the van.
Abby's been quiet all evening, playing Uno on Facebook and keeping to herself. Kady had a borderline major meltdown after her shower, something I was totally expecting. Sam fell asleep on my bed at 7:30.
My oldest is in her 2nd year of Middle School, tall and confident even in her shyness. My son is a 10 year old on the verge of stinky pits, his first crush and a killer smile, thanks to the miracle of orthodontics. My baby girl will be writing in cursive by the end of the school year.
The evening pretty much went the way I thought it would. There were no big surprises.
So why do I feel this crazy urge to cry?