The day before the first day of middle school was a mix of nerves and excitement. We knew we were going to be on vacation the week before school started so we had nearly all the required school supplies in the house. From backpacks to shorts with an eight inch inseam to two-inch binders, everything was waiting to be packed.
The girls were so excited to start middle school that they could hardly sleep the night before the big day. Their backpacks were waiting by the front door. Their clothes were waiting on their dressers. They worried about everything from class schedules to friends to homework to lockers.
We waited at the bus stop with nervous anticipation. They worried about taking the bus, which they hadn't done in many school years. They worried about getting lost in the big, new school. They promised each other they would stick together.
As soon as they got on the bus, I made a wish that they would have a good first day. It was only a partial day as the school brings the sixth graders in to help them find their classrooms, learn how to use the lock, explain the rules and let them start to transition to middle school.
They nearly ran down the block after school. They were so excited that they started yelling the big news as they ran up the driveway. Their core friends were in all their classes with them. And, the girls were in all the same classes, except one. They hoped to be in one or two classes with their best friends, but it was so much better than they could have imagined.
After a few minutes I had to stop the conversation and told them that only one girl could talk at a time. They were so happy and excited. They kept opening and closing their locks just to prove they could do it. They went from topic to topic to topic so quickly that I could hardly keep up.
It was glorious. They went from frightened little girls to confident middle schoolers in just a few hours. All their fear was gone. They were confident that they would rock middle school.
It didn't take long before I was on the phone inviting the other girls over to our house. They all talked at once, sitting at the dining room table eating snacks and reading the school policies. They laughed at some rules and asked questions about others. They made plans to study together. They discussed what they were wearing to the first full school day. They were happy, happy girls.
Oh, I know that some of the glow will fade as the homework piles on. For now we'll enjoy the excitement. It's a great way to start the next chapter of their education.