Sunday, May 25, 2014

AM~Erica Can't Believe It

So anyway...

A major rush of emotions have been rushing over me lately. I'm a mess!

Today, I'm wearing butterflies. I'm wearing butterflies for several reasons. But hang on a moment while I grab a tissue or two so I can pull myself together to tell you why...


OK. *breathe in, breathe out*

Today, my daughter actually graduated high school. Seriously.

I know, right? How is that even possible! I'm not old enough to have any kiddo that age. That's exactly my thought!


So, yeah. That happened today. And it has been quite the journey to get here!

See, she hasn't exactly been the most "studious" kiddo since she hit the 3rd grade. We have had issues with teachers that were nightmares & sweet blessings of teachers who were saints the rest of the way thru. We pulled, we prodded, we left it alone, we nagged, we encouraged, we punished, we stayed in contact with the was quite the struggle to get her thru. I'm sure there were teachers who cringed hearing from us...or even cringed having to contact us.


The amount of work WE did to get her to scrape by was exhausting. It caused us a lot of anxiety. Because she is SO smart!!! That's why so many of us attached to the journey had been very frustrated with her! But you know what? She did it...just enough to get by. Every. Single. Time.

She also had problems getting participation points in classes. The girl who can sing & perform like no one else's business could not, and would not, do presentations in classes & would hardly speak up in class...because she didn't want to draw attention to herself, especially if she was wrong. But I got thinking about it, and it actually saddens me...

When we lived in StL, she was in middle school. We were there for her whole middle school life. Moving can be difficult on kids. Especially on someone who was such a leader & felt they could rule the world! To get in a situation where you need to make new friends can be very difficult. And the forming of trust issues can arise.

Teen Girl was in a situation in middle school with "friends" that was so traumatic, hurtful, heartbreaking & breaks my heart every time I think about it. A verbally abusive bullying situation was so intense, my daughter never wanted to go back to school. A girl so dominating that other "friends" wouldn't speak up against her. A ring leader that others would just do what she said without question...even if they knew it was wrong. Until the new kid, my daughter, stood up to her over a stupid Halloween costume. And things escalated quickly. Horribly.

In that time, the bully ring leader had a birthday party where she, along with her over-bearing mother, had a bracelet making party. My daughter chose to make her bracelet for me (probably because she knew she was in serious trouble with me before we left). It had my favorite colors & a butterfly charm. She made it about 6-years-ago, and I still wear it.

When she made that bracelet, it was a dark time for her. Both with school & with friends. She just wanted to go back "home"...not wanting to accept the fact that StL had to be our home at that time. Middle school is hard enough on an individual...but no one should EVER have to endure what she did!

So she has had trust issues with friends, classes & people in general. She no longer steps up & makes herself known & has been a great part of her own self doubt. This is all on top of her not wanting to do all the work anyway...
Imagine our struggle...

We were shocked when we went to parent/teacher conferences. We would hear, "She is very quiet in class." We would find ourselves retorting with, "No, no, no. Our daughter is [Teen Girl]." And then we'd get the weird looks.

In her struggles to even wanting to do the work, as well as finding & hanging on to decent friends, the journey to today has really been a struggle. She's been fighting this cocoon for a very long time.

So, today, I felt it was appropriate to wear butterflies. Not only was my deceased grandmother into butterflies as much as I am (reminder HERE), but it was a beautiful significance to graduation.

Today, I wore butterflies...including that bracelet. Such a symbolic accessory to show that she has fought hard & risen above a lot.

The bracelet she made for me several years ago

She began to get noticed for her amazing talents. She had people fighting for her & with her to get her to walk that stage.

Today, I wear butterflies. To make sure my grandmother was ever-present, as well as to remind my daughter how far she has actually come!

Today, she became a butterfly...we watched her wings spread as she focuses, now, to fly off to her next adventure. She is still looking at a couple of colleges (Remember that whole being afraid of being turned down & trust issue stuff?). But getting accepted, having amazing friends, getting to go on big adventures, and she has turned the heads of talented peers that she really had no idea she could hold her own with...ones she really looks up to!

Her very last day of free public education...ever!

We are so proud that we, as a village, have gotten this girl to the end of this stretch of the journey. It's time to turn the corner to a whole new path.

And I have handled this whole "I have an adult graduate as a kid" thing SO well...*ahem*

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

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