Looking around at them, the chattering groups of little girls, flipping long strands of unbrushed hair behind their shoulders, I'm instantly transported back in time... back to middle school, one of the strangest and most awkward periods of my life.
I spent the better part of the weekend worrying that Sophia's experience in sixth grade would mirror mine. I had one of my all-time favorite teachers (ever) and still had the worst year of my life.
It was in sixth grade I started to feel different. I was awkward. I grew faster than everyone else. I was overweight. I wasn't athletic. I have a long list of things I discovered were "wrong with me" that year...things I still think feel "wrong."
And yet...I've learned over the years that it's not "wrong" to be "different"...it just took me a little longer to find my way.
As Sophia starts middle school, my prayer for her has been that she will develop unrelenting kindess. The kind of kindness that bubbles out of her soul. Kind to friends. Kind to strangers. Kind to the unkind.
And what I keep saying to her over and over again is "You will never regret being kind."
It's funny how I still see that awkward little girl with a bad pair of glasses and a crazy 80's perm when I look in the mirror. It's funny how difficult it can be to move past those insecurities, despite the knowledge that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
And while everything inside me revolts against those very things that held me back, the truth is, I can see the good in them. I mean, having a few insecurities, knowing that you started at that same place of awkwardness as everyone else...it keeps you kind.
It makes you compassionate.
It teaches you to never judge a book by its cover.
I'm trying to take these moments, the crazy ones, the quiet ones and all those in between, and process them correctly...without a lot of introspection, though that doesn't seem to work for me. It's hard to let things just be.
Today I'm going to focus a little more on that...today I will just be.