What a year this has been.
The year my girls moved from ten to eleven, they also changed schools: public to private, coed to all-girls, from a large urban school teeming with challenges and diversity to a smaller, more privileged urban school with their mother and aunt teaching in the building. It’s been a year of big changes, as they navigate new schedules, norms, dynamics and communities. They have each faced their own challenges, and it has been hard for me to watch them confront them, hard not to try and cushion each struggle, hard to remember The Blessing Of A Skinned Knee. I knew last year this would be a growing experience for all of us, but as always, you can’t really be prepared; you just have to ride the waves and hope you make it safely to shore.
Sophie is still a bubbly spirit who struggles to hold a grudge for very long at all, still a devoted animal lover, still a voracious reader. This spring, she performed in her largest show yet, playing Moth the fairy in a community theater production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with her father in the role of Puck. It was a truly magical experience for her, and with each performance, she danced and sang and spoke her lines confidently; it was so fun to sit in the audience night after night and watch her expressive little face shine with delight. She’s made some good friends at her new school, and was chosen to lead prospective families on tours–it thrilled her to serve as an ambassador for the school she has fallen in love with this year. Next year she’s going to tackle soccer and audition for the middle school musical, and she’s already started some of her summer reading; I know she will bring her enthusiasm and humor to each new arena in middle school.
Lucy has really blossomed this year, and it has been wonderful to see her make leaps and bounds as she tested the waters at her new school and found them inviting. She’s made good friends, continued with her ballet and visual art classes, and discovered new depths of confidence and strength in herself. One of my favorite lines in Midsummer is “Though she be but little, she is fierce!” and that fits our little Lucy perfectly. She is still orderly and organized, serving as props mistress for Midsummer and making sure the right prop was used at the right time by the right person. She’s the only eleven-year-old I know with subscriptions to Martha Stewart Living and Southern Living . Next year, she’s starting Chinese and debating whether she’d like to stay backstage or take a turn in the spotlight.
This fall will be another big change as our girls move into middle school. I can’t pretend I’m not anxious about it, but I also can’t wait to see what they achieve next.