The other day I attended the 5th grade assembly at the kids' school since my only boy, my middle child, will finish his last year of elementary school in 13 days. I don't know how this happened.
Isn't it funny how parents say that? "I don't know when they grew up?" or "I turned around twice and they were taller than me and had facial hair and voices that cracked at inopportune times. And then they moved out."
I have done this whole 5th grade thing once before. Abby is now finishing out 7th grade, another fact that amazes me. When did she become a full-fledged Middle Schooler? I swear I turned around twice and ..... she really is taller than me.
I went to the assembly completely unprepared to cry. Really. I mean, I know I'm a cry-er and all and it sometimes only takes a Hallmark commercial to send me into sobs, but I didn't think I would. I'm a veteran mom now. I've done this before. But then I saw the big sign that said:
and then I started feeling that familiar sting behind my eyes and my chest did that hitch thing it does when I know a good bawl is coming. I held it in, distracting myself with Twitter and Facebook updates, talking to Sam's friend's mom and deep breathing.
5th grade envelopes a magical age, really. They are the top dogs in the elementary school. They hold all the offices on Student Council, once a week they read to the Kindergarteners, they scrape trays in the cafeteria, they get to change the letters on the marquee out front, they get to do the morning news cast and they are called upon to do various errands and tasks no one younger than them can do. They are virtually vibrating with nervous energy and hormones, blushing and stammering when a member of the opposite sex comes within a few feet. They also have attitude to spare as they try to figure out their place in the hierarchy of their world. I am fascinated by them.
Sam is friends with a kid who already has the beginnings of a moustache. We're not talking peach fuzz here. Sam's friend is quite proud of his newly acquired facial accessory and has made the other boys insanely jealous. Sam asked me the other night how he could make his moustache grow faster. I wasn't about to tell him to start shaving, so instead I said, "Like this," then closed my mouth tight, puffed out my cheeks and lips and pretended to blow. Abby chimed in, "Yeah, Sam! You just do that all the time and you'll make the whiskers grow!" He laughed and said, "Yeah, right. You're joking." We neither confirmed nor denied. Of course, I wasn't counting on him going to his father to find out for sure if we had given him a tried and true method. And it was his father that told him to just start shaving. The screeches emitting from my mouth shortly thereafter probably traumatized the poor child into never shaving and will instead look like this for the rest of his life:
But for now....they are the hands of a little boy. My little boy.