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Another academic milestone reaches completion today (Friday, June 1, 2018). My daughter will walk into the middle school building as an eighth-grader and leave as a high school freshman. (While my kiddos’ school year officially ends for students Tuesday, June 5, theirs concludes today due to a family event.)

As I sit here typing, I recall how three years ago she clutched her hot pink and black Under Armour lunchbox and slipped her matching UA pink backpack over her shoulders. I walked her to the corner, wished her good luck and off she went to her bus stop to wait for her first ride to sixth grade. I remember the tears that fell down my cheeks as I hoped and prayed that her first year of changing classes, using a locker, taking on more activities and taking classes that might not include her friends would turn out well.

It did. In fact, my daughter has blown me away in the three years that she has spent in middle school. She has grown mentally, physically and intellectually. She has remained true to herself. She stayed largely organized with her studies, sitting down after school with work almost as soon as she arrived home. She would get the written homework completed as soon as possible, study and/or brainstorm and see through a project. The latter found her working ahead most of the time, with less than a handful of assignments completed at the last minute over the years.

Looking ahead to high school, I hope that her focus and determination continues in the classroom, the dance studio, the choir room and anywhere else as she works toward her post-secondary education goals, hopes and dreams. No matter what, her mama is here to help, support, encourage and love her through it all.

Congratulations to Amber and her classmates as they close the door to middle school and prepare to embark on their high school years. Before that happens, however, have a safe, happy and enjoyable summer!