Today I watched my almost 11 year old very keenly. Standing on the cusp of 5th and 6th grade, today was her last day at school before it shut down for a two week break. When she returns it will be to 6th grade. The range of emotions coursing through her the entire day have registered themselves in my mind to be narrated to her in future.
She awoke with the thought that it was her last day in 5th grade. Jumped off the bed with a spring in her step and headed straight for the kitchen to supervise the packing of her special lunch. The girls had decided to bring something special each for the meal they share at lunchtime. Today my lady took homemade pizzas, a box of popcorn and cookies to share with her friends. They call each other BFFs! My husband shakes his head in confusion when presented with all these abbreviated terms.
She is also sad that it’s her last day in this class and this classroom. Without being aware she has already stored in her memory the many moments created here in this room in the past one year. And while they will gather dust in some corner of her mind for a couple of decades, I am sure she will pull them out one fine day and smile in remembrance.
She is sadder still about the fact that one of her close friends is relocating to another city and will be moving next week. But then again I see hope in her mind when she says optimistically that she will email her and chat with her online.
And then I saw the glimpse of apprehension in the way she chewed on her lower lip when she wondered aloud if all her friends would be in her class when the new term began. Their school has a practice of shuffling students of the three divisions every other year. So friends do get separated in the process. She says she is praying that her friends remain in same section as she is.
When she returned from school there was a sense of satisfaction over the unorthodox lunch party. And an air of superiority…hasn’t she just moved up a grade! And of course the thought of a two week break, especially when her older brother still has to go to school, is just too good a chance to pass up to gloat over him.
Such a bundle of emotions. And yet I dare not laugh at any of them. For her, these are very serious matters. So I have just listened to her. For I want her to know that I do understand her excitement and apprehensions. That just because we are grown ups now we cant ridicule them for their small world and small worries. I had read somewhere that, ‘its not for the children to understand their grown ups but vice versa, because we have already been where they are now, but they haven’t.’(am not quoting verbatim but just the gist of what I could remember) .
And somewhere I think we as grown ups also under go the same trepidations in our grown up world but just learn not to express them so openly.