Jeff Clineff - All The Words
Ramblings of a Roaming Consciousness
Sixth Grade??

“The time has come”, the walrus said, “to talk of many things.”

Specifically, Middle School.

I am getting old little ones. Rachael entered middle school this year. It never occurred to me what a difference this would be from her other school years.  I’ve noticed a change in attitude in myself.  For Russell now, and for the first five years of school for Rachael, Beth and I, as the parents, have been leading them through school. We meet with the teachers, plan out the year, and in any way possible clear out obstacles in their way so they can follow us through each grade.  Sixth grade is different.

From the start of sixth grade, I discovered I am no longer leading. I find myself, not in front of Rachael leading her, but beside her, working together. It is as if we have become a team and we’re working on getting through sixth grade together. She has taken on more responsibility and is clearing away the obstacles herself.  She doesn’t need a leader, she needs a support team.  That is us. Every test, every project, every school function, it is us against the school.  Not in a good vs. bad way but in a man-against-the-mountain kind of way. When you climb a mountain, finish a long hike or run a marathon, there is a sense of accomplishment, of succeeding against the odds, of achieving a hard fought goal. This is what I am referring to. Each test is one more mile, each project is one more cliff and we are working together to get there. 

For the first eleven years of her life I was ahead of her, now we are side by side. All too soon she will be ahead of me. She will be able to get through the obstacles without my support, without my help.  Soon I will be left behind as she runs those miles and climbs those cliffs. She will reach the top alone and celebrate a job well done. I’ll be at the bottom with a wave and a smile and I will take pride in knowing I helped her climb that first hill.

2008-10-07 16:33:08 GMT
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