You started junior high last week.
I spent so much time worrying about this - most of the summer, last year, years before that.
As quickly as you are growing, I still see you as my small boy, as someone I need to protect and shelter at all cost. When I would think about you starting junior high, all I could see was your shyness, your reserve, your struggle with new people and environments.
Additionally, it was impossible for me not to project my own experiences with junior high onto my concerns for you. Junior high was a miserable time for me, filled with social awkwardness, bullying, and isolation. I eventually found my core group of friends, but those years severely shook my self confidence. Junior high was just pure misery and I wished more than anything that I could protect you from that.
Add to that a new school that has a student population more than seven times larger than your elementary school, the more rigorous academic demands, the multiple classrooms and teachers, and your first time riding a school bus, I was just a puddle of anxiety as the first day of school approached.
We did our best to prepare you. We toured the school several times over the summer, letting you locate the library, the gym, the cafeteria, try opening lockers. We attended every open house and orientation available.
And then the first day of school arrived, and off you went.
There have been many, many occasions in my life where I have realized that I worry too much.
This was one of them.
Despite my very best attempts, you have made the transition from elementary student to junior high student with ease.
Junior high appears to suit you. You were ready to leave behind elementary school. The fact that you grew a couple inches over the summer doesn't hurt, either.
In fact, I feel like I'm watching you blossom into a new and amazing person right in front of me. So much of your potential has bubbled up to the surface and become apparent.