My beautiful girl; Last day of summer vacation at our friends’ new farm, first day if 7th grade

I am full/overflowing with emotion as this slower summertime schedule comes to an end and we get ready for the school year. As I write, right now, my daughter makes her way through her first day of school. She has been especially brave this past week and a half. Last year four of her closest girlfriends– friends since before kindergarten– chose to leave for a different middle school. She was sad and upset, but when asked was absolutely clear that she wanted to stay at her school. By the time last summer rolled around she had jumped in and gotten very close– best friends close– to a girl she has known since kindergarten. Then a week ago Saturday after almost two weeks away she called her friend, A, as we were leaving Lassen Volcanic Park, and A told her that she is not returning to their school. At the last minute her mom and she had made the decision for her to go to a different school.

I know N was heartbroken and also felt like the rug had been pulled out from under her– the two girls talked a lot last year about going to the same high school and to college together. But I heard her saying into the phone to her friend– “The main thing is I want you to be happy.” I don’t completely feel that way (not that I don’t want A to be happy, and I’m not mad about it, but I can tell my heart is not as open and generous as my daughter’s is)– and she is way too transparent and not shut down enough to think or say such a thing without really meaning it. I cried a little to myself for her– I was sheltered in the back seat of the car as she sat in the front and had this conversation. But here she is– gorgeous, big, growing up and brave.

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