Like many 8th graders, Drama Girl spent a week carrying around an egg "baby" for health education class. She helped form a babysitting co-op, she made a sturdy carrier to keep it from breaking, and she was able to show her teacher that it was still intact at the end of the week.
I asked her if she felt she had learned anything from the experience. "Naw, I don't think parenting is much like carrying an egg around. Half the time I just left it in my locker."
But I think there are more similarities than meet the eye.
This is a big week in her life - "graduation" from 8th grade. When I was a kid, this was a non-event. You finished 8th grade and went to High School - no big deal. But times have changed. Our kids are used to getting trophies for showing up in sports and diplomas for showing up to school, even though attendance is mandated by law.
I hadn't planned on doing much to mark the occasion until she and I took a trip to the thrift store to drop off some books. Drama Girl wanted to go in and once inside she gravitated towards a dress on a mannequin. It's a lovely dress and she bought it herself. It wasn't until later that I thought to ask her why she wanted it.
"For the grad dance. I know how you feel about graduation so I didn't want to ask for one."
I was horrified. I would have been happy to buy her a dress had she asked. I got that terrible feeling that there had been a communication breakdown. It dawned on me that there was a lot of anticipation that she was holding back. Not the usual tactic for my daughter.
Our next stop that day was a haircut for her. When I stepped up to write the check, I asked the stylist if she does up-dos for grads. I didn't even ask Drama Girl, but I could see her face light up. Score one for mom.
So tomorrow, as she prepares to walk with her class, there will be a corsage surprise, and then there will be a small gift surprise that she wants very much, and then there will be a bit of a cake surprise.
Because when you're a mom, you do everything in your power not to let your little egg break.