My daughter J. is in her first year of Middle School, a year bound to be filled with new experiences, friends, and fun. And J. is one of those kids who will have her hand in everything: sports, clubs, groups, and associations. She will participate fully in Spirit Days, go to all the dances, and ask to go to school early to hang out with her friends before class. She has already discovered texting (though not to the degree that my high-schooler has) and at times spends way too long talking about nothing on the phone. These pre-teen and teenage years are going to be full of excitement. I'm already looking forward to shopping for Homecoming dresses and watching volleyball games. It will be fun.
But today J. came home early from school complaining of a headache and stomach-ache. She seemed a bit teary and emotional, and I thought she really wasn't feeling well. Then she got home, and asked for Doritos. She wanted to play on the computer. She seemed...well, fine. She spent the afternoon lying on the couch watching TV, but only because I insisted. She missed gymnastics, though I'm pretty sure she could have gone and would have been fine.
Is it possible she had just a touch of something that came and went? Sure, it is. I had something similar earlier this week. She could have just been sick, or had digestive problems, or whatever. But it got me thinking, for sure. It also could have been something else.
I remember those days. I remember not wanting to go to school because of the boy who didn't like me back, or the mean girl who made fun of my clothes, or because of the huge pimple on my chin. I remember feeling nauseous because of the teacher that seemed to hate me or because I think I wore the wrong socks with my outfit. Let's face it: adolescence is hell.
The funny thing is, it's also heaven. Both, all rolled into one.
Laughter, and tears. Fun, and heartbreak. Friendship, and fights. Love, and hate. It's not easy, growing up.
J. will get through it, and I know she's going to be just fine. Stomach-aches, heart-aches, and all.