As we draw increasingly closer to the last days of school, my heart is joyful and full of sorrow at the same time. It...

As we draw increasingly closer to the last days of school, my heart is joyful and full of sorrow at the same time. It has always amazed me how this can be, feeling hopeful and sad simultaneously. I am hopeful for the summer, that it will be relaxed and we can spend some quality time together. I am hopeful for the fall, when my boy will start middle school, an entirely new chapter in our lives, and I am sad, because this is his last year of elementary school, and I am sorrowful because the time just flies by too quickly.

I know, I know, I still have my sweet girl to fulfill all of my elementary school needs. I still want to go on field trips and come in to read to the class. I still want to see my sweet child running down the hall to meet me, giving me a huge hug in front of everyone. Yes, I’m selfish. The boy child will cut his eyes at me in a heartbeat if I even attempt to tell him that I love him in front of his friends, giving him a hug, forget it. The reality of him leaving elementary school is really hitting me hard as we wrap up these last few weeks of school. We are now discussing which foreign languages will be the most fun, what looks the best when applying to specialty centers for high school (what?), and of course the fact that there is no recess, those days of playing on the playground are over.

My sweet, sensitive, kind, loving, smart, creative boy who is caught between being a kid and a teenager is coping pretty well. Sometimes he will be a little sad, and a lot of the time he is bewildered.

This tween stuff is not for the faint of heart. My boy still loves to play with Legos and make blasting noises as he and his sister “battle.” He loves Pokemon and Transformers, and will even play with his sister for about 2.5 seconds. I adore this child. He loves to read, loves music (currently he is obsessed with Pearl Jam), and drawing is his passion. Unfortunately, he is at the age now where a lot of his friends are not “playing” anymore, unless it’s a video game. It’s hard for him to straddle that line between boy and teen but he seems to be able to navigate pretty well.

I have come to realize that our children really need us more as they approach middle and high school than they do when they are toddlers. They need us to listen, and to give heartfelt and appropriate advice. I have never worried about my boy, he is strong and courageous, but he is also sensitive and nothing hurts more than your child hurting. These are going to be tough years to get through; this growing up stuff is not for wimps!

I know he will do well, and I will let him fly when he is ready, I just hope it’s not too soon.