We’re a month into the secondary school routine and life has changed. I expected it, but WOW, where has my little girl gone and can she come home now please?
It seems only yesterday I was worrying about my daughter embarking on her new school and I lay in terror at night wondering what to expect. I of course with glee took photos of how grown up she looked on her first day in her oversized blazer and tie, comparing her to her first day at nursery eight years ago and sharing my pride of my baby girl. I spent the day so worried about how she would get on, would she get lost, have her head flushed down the toilet or find the canteen.
I have no idea why I worried about those things, coming back to the present day, I really do have a tweenager now. Having had a phone for a while before school, she had never shown much interest, leaving it for days uncharged or at the bottom of her wardrobe. I loved that she left it to one side without a care. Within days of starting this new adventure, it had become an extension of my daughter. It is now attached almost always to her hand, until the time each night when I prize it off her until the following morning.
I never quite realised how a ponytail, seemingly to the naked eye, would appear identical, and yet it could be restyled 50 times, because it’s not right. On the occasion I have mistakenly said, that looks the same as the last one, be warned, this is not the right thing to say! This generally means they have to start their hair again and are very angry with you. I have only made this error of judgement once and will not make it again.
Everything they have wanted to do or not do is suddenly left changing daily. From hobbies they have spent years enjoying, to TV programmes and brand names, it now depends on the ever-changing new best friends and what they do or want to do. Be prepared this can mean several different decisions thrown your way within 24 hours, from booking a martial arts grading to never wanting to put on a Gi again, from having a favourite TV programme to completing hating that programme and it becoming very annoying to them that you’re not keeping up.
You see, it’s not just the whirlwind of hormones or the fact that their year group and school has grown in multiples of ten, but they are suddenly at an age much more eager to please and fit in. She is a sponge to everything and everyone around her. She has ears that can hear from a mile away, anything that you don’t want her to hear, and yet you can ask her to do something and be within kissing distance and her hearing ability suddenly diminishes.
I’m sure this wonderful journey will be eventful. I’ve already had tears and laughs, from her and I, but I know as her mum I’ll just be there. I’ll feel like I’m winning, feel like I’m failing, be angry, happy, sad and everything in between. But it’s not really about me, it’s about her and I will be here every step.