Wednesday was J's last day of school for the year. She is now in grade 12. Wow...another one almost done high school. Yikes! Really where does the time go? I met J when she was in grade 6 and I have watched her grow from a shy awkward 11 year old to this beautiful, graceful 17 year old who is now in the final year of her life, really, at home. There are so many big steps coming her way and she realized this on Wednesday.
After getting out of her final grade 11 final exam, J went and had herself a good old panic attack. You know what I'm talking about: the hyperventilating, the sweating, the thoughts that ramble out of your mouth without you really focusing on what you are saying:
"I'm in grade 12"
"I don't know what I want to be when I grow up." (reassuring friend says"It's okay you still have a year to decide.")
"Not if I want to go to college. I'll have to apply and what about scholarships and I'll have to apply and what am I gonna do.....?"
At this point we all know that the typical thing to do would be to slide down the wall in the smelly high school hallway and crumple on the floor. (Are you thinking back to that moment?) And that is just what she did. Panic attack over, J is doing fine now; she needed a few minutes and a few deep breathing exercises. The eery feeling of the unknown has subsided...for now.
Now, I, on the other hand, have just realized that Rush has just finished grade 6. If you remember that is when I met J and it sure doesn't seem like that long ago and she is on the verge of getting her wings. Do you know what that means? Are you anticipating what is coming next...?
Me breaking out in a cold sweat?
"She's gonna be in grade 12 soon?"
"What am I gonna do when she grows up?" (reassurance from child,"I'll visit mom")
I remember when she was 5 and told me she would never, ever leave me and that she would live with me forever with her husband, her kids, her dog, her cat, her horse and her gorilla. Yes, gorilla. And now, she is all ready talking of moving down to Kansas City to go to the same Bible College as LB and has all ready started saving money so she can afford school. (Wow, I wonder where she gets her "lets plan a million years in advance" idosyncrasy from...don't look at me. I'm serious....not me. )
This only means one thing. "What," you may ask. I have to cherish my Rush and every little moment I have with her. We have gone through a lot, Rushh & I. For a while, we were all we had. We have gone through scary times with her biological dad; we have gone through times when we were so poor she was the only one eating most days. We have gone through times when I thought I was going to lose her, like when she had pneumonia really bad and we have gone through times where we would just snuggle on the couch and tell wonderful, beautiful stories of where we would go, what we would do, see and eat as we went off on gorgeous vacations together in our imaginations.
I need to stop being so "busy" and enjoy the time I have with my kids (all 7 of them); it's been a really long time since Rush & I have gone on one of our special vacations. Jellybean & I have never gone on one and I think she is just the right age to start. Pretty soon she will be wanting to save money for going to school and telling me what she will do when she grows up...
(originally posted on June 24, 2005)