Monday, June 23, 2008

Oh, Girl!

She marched off to school today, bouncing slightly with every step, like she has for ten years.  Today is her last day of Grade 8.  

Tonight is her graduation.

It kind of freaks me out real bad that my tiny 4 year old, who wore pink rubber boots with a dress on her first day of Junior Kindergarten, is now a long legged teenager who has crushes on rock stars and actors and is trying to play Metallica songs on her Daddy's big classical guitar.  She's got ridiculously long legs that remind me of a weanling filly.  She is, impossibly, graceful and goofy at the same time.  She can't lie worth a crap.  Like me, she messes up 90% of her jokes before she gets to the punchline, sometimes because she's already giggling too hard. 

She's taller than me but she's the shortest girl in her grade.  I'm not sure what that says about me or the size of these darn kids today.

We found her a cute black dress with pink polka dots for ten dollars.  She had to get new shoes since her feet have grown in the last couple of months.  Her hair's been trimmed, her grad photos are done, her locker is almost empty.  We've got a new shirt for her little brother; he's even going to wear a tie for this big event.

I tease her that this really shouldn't be such a big deal, since really, passing Grade 8 should be a given.  I mean, even if it takes a few years, you should pass Grade 8.  I still have this attitude that high school is too long.  (This from me, who took 5 1/2 years to finish it...)  But Grade 8, you simply have to get that.  High school is basically an exercise in meeting deadlines while narrowing down what you might do for a living later on, and of course, massive flirting and giggling and heartbreaking and growing.  Surviving high school is a feat.  Even one year there can change you forever.

But you know, when it's your own kid who graduates Grade 8, it's a big deal.  

She's so bright and imaginative.  She's also a total Unicorn Rancher --she'll be doodling or daydreaming or picking her fingernails or anything instead of paying attention in class.  For this reason alone her good marks are a big deal!  She's really struggled to get along in a world that doesn't always understand her Attention Deficit Oh Shiny.  I'm proud of her for trying to cope while never losing her unique personality.  

She and I spent the weekend together, since the guys were A) at a friend's cottage, or B) working.  We had Girl Weekend, which for us means hanging around with horses, puttering in the garden, and watching This Is Spinal Tap.  And yeah, so many things about her life make sense now that she's seen that movie.  (Finally she gets the Bobbi Flekman imitation.)

The Girl really worked this weekend. She got our Current Favourite Pony to lope all the way around the ring, twice, without breaking down into a trot!  Plus she rode the pony down the road to the neighbour's arena, where they did another quick ride!  The kid knows how to handle Ponytude.  She's quiet in the hands, doesn't lose her temper, and uses those long legs of hers to move the pony.  I'm proud of her.  I can't wait to see her with her own horse again.

She also helped with some barn work, and did a little babysitting job.

On Saturday night she slept for twelve hours.  I think she was taller when she got out of bed.  

I know for a fact that this evening, when both of us are wearing our dresses and high heels, she will still be taller than me.  I'm bringing her flip flops in my purse, just in case she gets sick of the heels... I may never be the taller of the two of us but I'm still her mother...


Tod said...

I loved reading this!

dilling said...

congratulations to the two of you...

CindyDianne said...

Congratulations to all of you. I am sure she's an adorable weanling filly!

Olly said...

Great post!
Yeah, why do they make such a big deal about elementary/middle school graduation?

I love the bonding moments with Spinal Tap. My son will watch that movie over and over. And don't feel bad. Not only are most of my ten year old daughter's friends taller than her and I, but most laugh at my size 5 shoes as well. My bragging that I can fit into barbie runners or ones that light up or say left and right just isn't as impressive to them as it used to be!

JKB said...

Congrats to both of you!!!! Oh, how sweet that she is getting so old, right? Before you know it, you're a grandma! (Although that is far in the future)

Girl weekends are the best!

Balloon Pirate said...

Son will be 'graduating' from Grade 6 this Wednesday.

Not really a big deal as far as I'm concerned, but it has been the only school he's ever known, so I'll be there.

Sad fact of the matter is, with the graduation rate in this town below 50%, it's the only ceremony most of these kids will ever have.


Heidi said...

what a lovely tribute to your daughter!

It's good to celebrate every now and then, even if it's preschool or eighth grade graduation. Like any graduation it's a milestone, a moving from one phase of life into another.

Hopefully her high school experience will be better than yours!

millhousethecat said...

I loved the description of high school. Spot on.

Congrats to your daughter. My oldest finished up the 8th grade (our schools got out at the beginning of June) and he's about to embark on high school. He tries to act casual, but he's a little concerned that his big brains and advanced math placement will put him in classes with those big, scary older kids.

Good luck to him, and good luck to yours!

Anita said...

Wonderful post... and oh, they do grow up so fast!
Congrats to you all!

Biddie said...

It really does seem impossible.
I remember the day that she was born. I can recall that day almost as vividly as the day that my own kids were born. Actually, maybe I can recall The Girls birth even better in some ways. I was waaay drugged up when my own were born, so I am a bit fuzzy on the details.
Big hugs to The Girl, and of course to you. She really is an amazing kid.

Lynn Sinclair said...

I'll bet she looked wonderful (she sure did when she modeled the dress for me). Tell her congrats!

The Manic Street Preacher said...

One great mother too x

Have a ball

Tribble said...

thanks everyone! it was really fun and sort of nerve wracking in a few ways, but it was exciting! and i have some amazing new shoes i can wear like, practically everywhere!!! :D