Yeah. That second one mixes up a whole different set of feelings.
Idiots in the school district scheduled the orientation on the same night as the band's concert - at different schools - which meant we raced out of the concert as soon as Alicia was done and headed over to the school she'll be attending. Which meant we arrived late, which I hate. But basically, it was just a general overview of how it's different to elementary school, what to expect, highlights from the school year, etc. Some things are exciting. Our school district is one of the few remaining in the Bay Area with organized sports at the middle school level, so Alicia's all gung ho about softball and volleyball. Plus she'll have band, theater, and whatever student government program they have since she's always been involved in that.
One of the things I'm not so thrilled about? The school doesn't really track kids based on academia. That doesn't happen until high school. Which means advanced kids like Alicia and her best friend end up in a homogenized class (the principal's descriptive word, not mine) for their various academic subjects. I really hope they don't get bored.
But there are other cans of worms. Like dances. Their increased independence. Increased social peer influence. Alicia has always had friends and hasn't really ever had difficulty socially at school, but middle school is a different beast with different expectations amongst the kids. She doesn't care about clothes or labels or teen trends. She's not self-absorbed on a physical level at all. One of her best friends had a birthday last week, but when she suggested they all get mani/pedis, Alicia poo-poohed the whole idea as ridiculous because, "We're eleven. That's silly." Which I love, don't think otherwise, I'm proud of the fact that she sees past the superficial. But I remember what girls those ages are like for the most part. I see what other girls are doing (including this friend who wanted the mani, that one gives me nightmares about what she's going to be like as a teenager, she already lies to her mom and the adults in her life to do/get whatever she wants). I'm hoping that Alicia is strong enough to withstand that kind of pressure. I'd like to think she is. I just won't know for sure until she's in it.
Which she will be. In less than four months. Oy.