The Dilemma of Watching Them Grow…

I’m a teacher in a Prep-Yr9 school. While I deal with the fresh, new 5yr old preppies, I’m often walking past the hormone-driven, deodorant drenched 15yr olds.

Sometimes they break off from their packs into awkward boy/girl conversations. Normally this registers a passing glance and giggle from me, and nothing more…until this year.

This year, some of the Yr 9s were in my class many years ago as Grade 2s. And that’s how I still see them- as little 7-8yr olds, losing teeth, developing senses of humour, drawing stick figure people.

It seems wrong to see them struggling with relationships. Odd to know they are battling pimples and hormones. Bizarre to think they probably have part time jobs.

They had slipped out of my consciousness (despite passing them in the yard over the years) until I saw them recently. Faces so much older, more adult-like, bodies so very much taller than me.

I don’t wish for them to have stayed 8yrs old forever. Not at all. Seeing them become (mostly) mature teenagers is a lovely part of being a teacher.

But it certainly drives home the notion of how quickly kids change. Ok, I haven’t been that observant of these particular kids, but I have noticed the growth in my kids.

Even though it hasn’t been sudden, in fact it’s so gradual it’s like there has been no change at all Megan and Alex are becoming real people.

Yes, yes- news flash, I know!!

We have proper conversations. They have their own likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams.

I can ask for an opinion or an idea and it will be carefully considered before being given.

A part of me wants to keep them just as they are now, another part of wants to see who they’ll be when they have grown up.

Someday Megan and Alex will be in those awkward 15yr old conversations at school. Hopefully it won’t sneak up on me like those current Yr 9s I see at lunchtimes.

And I hope I’m fully prepared to see young adults in front of me, rather than the memory of my little babies!

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