They Can’t Stay Little Forever

Last night I sat through another milestone event for my children.  Last night marked the end of Lucas at middle school.  I never really think about Lucas growing up and getting older.  For some reason I still love to think of him as my sweet little blond two year old who loved his fleece footie pajamas and reveled in a good snuggle.

This is the picture of Lucas I have implanted in my head and I can’t shake it out, even though I know how far from the truth of the matter it really is.  And last night the fact that Lucas is no longer this sweet, adorable, blond haired, brown eyed little one was brought home to me time and time again.
Yesterday I posted on my Facebook wall that it was another day and another milestone.  One of my friends said, “They can’t stay little forever.”  (Thanks Frank for the title of this blog!)  I know, in my heart they can’t, and I know you’ve heard me say it before, but I’ll say it again.  I absolutely love, Love, LOVE being a mom to these incredible kiddos of mine.  Time has flown by so much faster than I could have ever imagined and sometimes, ok most of the time, I wish time would slow down just a little.  Last night, though, I had to accept the fact that time is not slowing down.  It’s speeding up, it seems it’s almost faster than the speed of light sometimes.  
Enter 8th grade graduation…
As we walked into the school for the ceremony to begin we ran into Lucas’ 5th grade teacher.  The one who put up with so much from a goofy 11-year-old Lucas and took to calling him Pokrywka in class, making Lucas beam.  I couldn’t have imagined a better fit for Lucas in 5th grade than Mr. Burke.  I was, and still am, so thankful to him for his love of Lucas and his 5th grade class.  Mr. Burke and Lucas then began a new journey together.  Lucas, Mr. Burke, 278 other 5th graders and the rest of the staff all opened a brand new middle school together.  Mr. Burke thought it was time to teach middle schoolers.  He thought the fit would be better for him and the kids.  So Mr. Burke has had his eye on Lucas not only in elementary school, but throughout all of middle school as well.  And he said last night that the time has gone by so quickly.  He, too, can’t believe that these kids who were his last class of elementary schoolers are now moving on to high school.  As we walked into school together Mr. Burke was called to talk to other parents.  We parted ways, found our seats and waited for the ceremony to begin.  
Cue the sappy music and slide show….
Luckily my attention was diverted and I didn’t focus on any of that or I would have been a puddle on the ground. And I was so thankful we didn’t do a full parade of these teens to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” sounding through the speakers.  I don’t think I could have handled that either.  “Luckily” for me, we went right to the speeches.
But from the minute the speeches began, I had to accept the facts as they are now, not as I want them to be in my head.  Lucas is growing up.  His time in middle school is over and he is headed off to the big, wide world of high school.  My throat constricted with sadness and my eyes glittered with unshed tears as the speakers began to encourage and build up a new class of freshmen.  
The school board official for our area, was the first speaker.  She talked about what it takes to be successful in life.  She quoted Sam Parker and his philosophy on 212 degrees; how just one more degree makes all the difference between just hot water and water that makes steam powerful enough to propel an engine forward.  That’s what she wants the kids to focus on in life…that one extra degree of effort.  It was a great message for this group of kids as they head off to begin high school.  
One of the next speakers was the teacher of the year for the middle school Lucas is leaving behind.  She talked about the three F’s in life our kiddos need to hold onto for dear life.  Friends.  She told them to choose wisely.  Choose the friends who are there for you, encourage you and never let you down. Family, was her next F; a family who loves you unconditionally, no matter how you come by them.  Family is always there.  Foundation, was her last F; with solid foundation you have life at your feet.  If you have these three things you will succeed in life. 
These two ladies did a fabulous job of encouraging and building up these new, almost, high schoolers.  These ladies gave two of the best speeches I’ve heard at an eighth grade graduation (OK so, I’ve only been to two but they truly were great speakers with a fabulous message).  They kept it at the kids’ level but also let them know they are growing up and more is expected from them now.  They also did a tremendous job of keeping a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as I thought about Lucas growing up.  
It was the Principal of the school who nearly brought the tears coursing down my cheeks, though.  He told the kids how much he was looking forward to watching each and every one of them walk across the stage at their high school graduations in four years.  All I could think to myself was, “Please don’t rush it. PLEASE don’t rush them.”  I’m not ready to think of Lucas as a high schooler, let alone a high school graduate.  The tears were close to the surface and I was happy the auditorium was dark as the principal delivered his message to the kids.  I was glad Stan didn’t see the tears in my eyes as I blinked furiously trying to keep them in check.  I was also glad when the principal took his seat and I didn’t have to think anymore about fast forwarding to Lucas’ high school graduation.  
I do have to admit Lucas looks the part of a high schooler.  He looks like he’s ready to move up and move away from middle school.  The look on his face after he walked across the stage for his folder of memories proved it.  

So now it’s official.  I have two high schoolers ~ a freshman and a senior.  Frank, I know they can’t stay little forever but do they have to grow up at the same time??  
Oh, for the love of my children…

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