Sixth Grade Social & Letting Go

by Cate on September 23, 2013

One of the most important jobs as a parent is to raise your kids to be independent enough to let them go into the world on their own.

And while it’s a task I take very seriously, it’s also supremely difficult.

Because I can’t wrap my mind around the kids not being here all the time.

I don’t want to even think about it.

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And in the next chapter of These Kids are Seriously Growing Up Whether I Like It or Not, Nick went to his first dance this past weekend. Although it was technically called a social, which was I think precisely done to not scare any sixth grade boys from attending, it is most definitely a dance.

Originally he didn’t want to go, preferring to stay home and play Minecraft with friends, some gentle arm twisting convinced him. Ok, I totally didn’t give him a choice. As we pulled up, we noticed a handful of sixth grade girls going in.

Carefully coordinated outfits. Nails perfectly manicured. Hints (and some less subtle hints) of make-up.

The girls were quite comfortable with the event being called a dance.

The boys? Not so much.

A loud DJ spinning the latest Top 10 songs and shrieks as friends were reunited (even though they saw each other mere hours before). Adults lining the walls here and there. Junk food galore.

Two hours of fun and frivolity.

Although Madeline and I made good use of our two hours and finally got the manicure she’s been begging for forever, she couldn’t wait until Nick got back in the car with all the details.

“Did you dance?”
“With any girls?”
“Who do you like?”
“Do you have a crush on someone?”
“Do you have a girlfriend?”
“What was the dance like?”
“What did you do?”
“When is the next one?”
“Did everyone like your outfit?”

The difference between boys and girls? Never more apparent.

And they’re growing up.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

patsy September 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Our middle school has the 6th grade “dance” immediately after school… and it’s more like the boys on one side and the girls on the other from what I heard. I didn’t have to talk my oldest into going to this one, but I’m not sure he’ll be jumping to go to the next one unless a bunch of his friends go… we’ll see what happens!
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Joanne September 24, 2013 at 6:32 am

Aww that’s so fun!! I mean, probably Nick just had an “okay” time, but it’s a big crazy awesome life step!
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debbie September 24, 2013 at 7:18 am

When my youngest was in 6th grade the biggest thing in the world was the first dance. When he was in 7th grade he told me NO ONE goes to the the 6th grade dance! Go figure….He started high school this month and we’ll see what happens next month with homecoming. I’m sure it all depends on whether or not he has a date!!!!!
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Meg September 24, 2013 at 8:46 am

I remember those days all too well, though they’re a decade and a half behind me now. I don’t think we ever forget those early feelings . . . or the first time someone asks us to dance. :)

My parents are getting ready to marry their two daughters off within five weeks of each other, and we talk often of the bittersweet nature of parenting. As we both pack up our childhood bedrooms, my mom has been talking about all the milestones we’ve seen together — and under one roof — while we grew up, grew together.

Though I’m not a parent myself, I empathize with this post — and know Nick will have many awesome dances ahead of him. :) Life is beautiful, life is hard.
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