Hard to believe.
Doors close. Others open. Time passes. It's the way of life, but sometimes difficult to wrap your head around. Especially for parents...
And pardon the gushing to follow, but she has made us very proud.
Last night she had her last practice for the Xcel Gold gymnastics team at Roth's Crosspoint Gymnastics. She loves gymnastics and would like to continue to do it, but the team practices are a 100% overlap with marching band practices in the late summer and fall, and it is more important that she be a part of this school-based activity with all of her school friends. So after the practice last night, there were many tears, lots of hugs, and a generally bittersweet time. It's nice to know that so many of the team members like her.
|CPG team banquet, early June|
Leaving something behind that you still care about is difficult. To say the least. But the friends she has made will continue to be her friends. While many of them don't go to the same school as her, they live in the area, and she will be able to keep in touch. Some will inevitably fade away. A few won't. That's life. There is already a sleepover on the calendar for next week...
|Grace and her buddies|
She has grown a lot through her short competitive gymnastics career, and made a lot of good friends. She is part of a gymnastics team, but ultimately, when it is time to perform, it is just her and the judges, and facing that challenge for two years, and ending up on the podium often, has been terrific for her self confidence. And there have been those handful of times when she was number 1, at the top of the podium, when mommy and daddy pride really got to shine.
And I can't say enough about Coach Bill and Christina at the gym. Bill was an olympic caliber gymnast for over a decade, a member of the US national team for many years, the first US men's gymnast to score a perfect 10 in international competition, and he has a skill named for him in the "book of rules". Beyond all that, he is a caring and compassionate coach. CPG is what you would want a gymnastics program to be - a community.
|Grace and Coach Bill Roth|
Today she had the final 8th grade awards assembly, and the official end of middle school. She's had a good run, and has done herself proud. Today she got the team Social Studies award (4 people selected out of ~90 kids), to go along with a team English award in 6th grade and a team Science award in 7th grade. I'm proud that she has done so well in different subjects over her three middle school years.
|Social studies subject award|
She also got a distinguished honor roll award (straight A's in all 4 quarters of the year), making 11 out of 12 quarters of distinguished honor roll in middle school. She's still bitter about that one B+ in math for one quarter last year... Which doesn't bother me at all, but I kinda like the fact that it bothers her.
|Distinguished Honor Roll all 4 quarters of this year|
A note on parental expectations. We like that Grace does well. She is bright, and we expect her to do well. At this level, if she doesn't do well, it only means one thing - she didn't put in the basic amount of work necessary to do what she should have been able to do. Things may well change as the years go by and things continue to get more and more difficult. And that's OK. As long as she is putting in the effort, and doing the best she can, then I am OK with that.
Lastly, I have greatly conflicted feelings as I watch my little girl grow up. Maybe we should have put her in the pickle jar when we had the chance, but that opportunity is gone. So I guess we just have to watch her grow up and enjoy it for what it is.
|8th grade send off dance (Grace at right)|
But as for today... It's been a good 36 hours. A very good 36 hours.