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So I have to write this now while it is fresh in my mind.  It will lose its shine by tomorrow morning I’m certain.

Julia just got home from her first “dance” of sorts…it was a fun evening put together by a bunch of the 5th grade parents.  Rented out the Optimist Hall, got a DJ…pizza, snacks, sodas, extra large Pixy Stix.  Glow bracelets.  Spinning disco lights and sparkles.  Loud crazy pop music.  The works.  To celebrate leaving elementary school and heading off to middle school in the fall.

I came in about 10 minutes before the whole shindig was supposed to end.  Me and a bunch of other parents there, leaning against the wall watching their kids be kids.  I couldn’t find Julia for the longest time.  She blended in with all the other long brown haired girls bobbing up and down in the front by the DJ.  So I just watched.

Watched these kids…kids on the brink of being young adults, but still kids a little bit still.  Running around, laughing, chasing, dancing, twirling.  Eating.  Downing plastic straws full of flavored sugar.  Talking in close huddled groups.  Running back and forth between the dance floor and the bathroom. 

I had to force myself not to burst into tears.

I just looked at these kids and saw all the potential there, all the FUTURE in them.  They are like exploding supernovas of possibility.  All the hopes and dreams and maybes and not yets.  The wishes and fears.  The drama and the glory and the brains and the beauty and the things yet to come just bursting at the seams.

In a few years they will be more divided…there will be jocks and nerds and goths and punks and friends and enemies and frenemies….they will indulge in worse things than flavored sugar…they will love and hate and make up and forgive and most of them will graduate from high school with a totally different group of friends than they had tonight.  They will have boyfriends and girlfriends and all of them will make good choices and bad choices and have things they regret and things they are proud of.

I know I should be terrified of middle school.  And I am!  Especially with a preteen girl.  Cutting and eating disorders and Facebook hate and backstabbing and I hate you Mom and periods and sex and drinking drugs boys stress pimples cursing breaking free and becoming her own self.

But I am also so, SO excited for her.  To see who she becomes.  Because even though I know and fear the bad stuff, there is still so much GOOD stuff ahead.  So much to learn.  So much fun to be had.  Memories to be made.  Relationships to form.  A person, a woman to become.  

I’m so glad God’s given me the chance to be a part of this ride.  (Ask me a year or two from now if I still feel the same way! Ha! :))

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