The Princess is 12 years old and in sixth grade at the nearby middle school. This means I know less and less about her day-to-day life. Her friends are all new, and did not go to “our” elementary school. She does not have the same teachers her brother had last year in sixth grade. Luckily, she still talks to me about “stuff”, but I have no idea how long that will last, and I find she turns more and more to her friends, as is normal and to be expected. We still spend A LOT of time together mostly as a matter of necessity, getting her to the dance studio and home again, a 20-minutes-each-way journey. She is growing up right before my eyes.
I have the honor and privilege of helping out in one of her classes a couple of times a month. I’m only in there for an hour, but boy is it eye-opening and entertaining. First of all, sixth graders are really not that grown up and they are certainly not mature. They are still young kids. The boys still play with Legos and Hot Wheels (trust me, I heard it straight from them). The girls are starting to move away from toys, per se, but then girls are typically ahead of boys in maturity anyways. I spend much of my time smiling and laughing to myself. They are characters.
This past week, I saw my precious little girl show a side of her I hadn’t really seen before. In this particular class, she is surrounded on nearly all sides with boys. And she isn’t the least bit flustered by that. In sixth grade, surrounded by boys, I would have been a silent disaster. Not my daughter though. I watched as she flirted mildly. She is comfortable. She is not afraid of them. They are not alien creatures to her. I thought to myself, “Man, she has it under control and wow, I really wish I had been even half what she is when I was 12.” She isn’t boy-crazy at all. Boys are just there. She has a group of friends she hangs out with, which includes at least three boys.
I sat there watching her laugh, tease, smile, and be teased in return. She handled it. She has it together. She will be fine. I was thinking I might be talked into going back and doing it all over again if I had half what she has. She amazes me. While I’m terrified of what’s to come, I also think this is going to be fun to sit back and watch.