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Beyond Sixth Grade
Mommy Musings
Teresa Hammond mug 3

I miss sixth grade.

Please don’t misunderstand; I don’t miss being in sixth grade, although that was a pretty fun time in my life ... some days.

Now mother to a seventh grader and a freshman, one sleepless night last week I realized – I miss sixth grade. Giving it more thought I recognized perhaps fourth grade was actually better, it’s hard to say.

With girls it’s the biggest of challenges. They become mean early. Cliques also begin forming and that’s never fun. I still remember drying the eyes of my daughter the first time she learned all her “friends” were going to a party she wasn’t invited to. I’ll never forget that day.

My girl is far from an angel. She is every bit the girl I once was and then some. Our similarities and heartbreaks are often the same. Junior high has a wonderful way of bringing all the insecurities to the forefront. It’s equally a wonderfully hormonal time and tears seem to flow at the most confounding of times.

I miss sixth grade.

The high school life is proving to be about as mundane and uneventful as one could imagine. Not to be confused my son is navigating his way and learning the ropes just fine – but he’s 15. Words are now not as abundant as they were when he was 11. He enjoys spending time in his bedroom and talking “gaming” with his buddies. Career aspirations are a bit daunting. Together we’re trying to find a happy medium.

I miss sixth grade.

Navigating crosstown traffic in the a.m. has proven to be a cake walk compared to our after school travels. Road work this school year has indeed made travels from the office to the junior high and back to the high school a true ‘Hail Mary full of grace’ experience. Some people really like those horns.

I miss sixth grade.

I miss the morning drop off of two littles and our morning hug on the sidewalk before they’d cross the street. I miss their excitement of any and every activity being hosted on campus. I miss field trips, class parties and room mom.

Funny ... as I type that I recognize that those were the very things I grumbled about by the time my daughter had reached sixth grade. As a working mom I was tired, quite honestly drained and over taxed. Oh how foolish I was.

I wonder if they miss it too, but I dare not ask. I recognize they need to live present in this moment, this current chapter of their life, yet I suspect (in some ways) they miss it too. It was just so simple then.

Yet here we are, the teen years. Earlier this month as my daughter confided in me I shared with her a perspective I wished I’d had at 12. The troubles, “drama,” insecurities and pettiness she’ll face the next six years are but a blip in the years of her life. So much changes at 18, such a different chapter as one grows, matures and begins to fit in their skin. If lucky they will have 62 years beyond that to blossom and impact this world – that’s powerful.

For now, we’ll celebrate and live in the highs, trudge through the lows and remember fondly the days of sixth grade.

So parents of wee ones; put your phones away. Watch your children walk hand in hand with their buddies. Listen as they giggle and tell big stories. Lay with them on the floor for their 30 minutes of reading and hug them tight as much as possible.

What I know for sure is ... no matter how much you think you lived in it all ... those memories will help sustain you through the teen chapter.

 

Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at thammond@oakdaleleader.com or by calling 847-3021.