It’s been a long week full of firsts and endings. Hannah graduated from 8th grade tonight and officially moves on to high school. She has anticipated this day for weeks, excited about moving on to high school. The reality of it left her (and me) feeling a bit melancholy.

The firsts this week:

Her first dress since the third grade. She came home from school one day and said, “I need a dress for a school dance. Blue would be nice – no sparkles.” That was it – she totally dropped the job in my lap. I found a couple of dresses online, showed her the pictures and she pointed, “That one.” Job done. Amazing. Is it too much to hope the next party dress will play out the same way?

Her first pair of heels. We walked out of the store with the third pair of shoes she tried on. Watching her learn to walk in them and lose the stomping heel-toe gait has been a treat.

Her first pedicure. We had a mother/daughter outing for pedicures on Saturday. I think she thought the massage chair was cooler than the pedicure itself.

Her first dance. Oh my, we’ve definitely hit the “teens.”

Then there’s the endings. The end of 8th grade. The end of her tenure at elementary school. The end of our relationship with her wonderful teachers. Now we have to start all over again! The end of childhood.

I scoffed at the idea of a graduation ceremony. Why not just move on to high school? Prepared to be a little bored, I was moved instead. All the kids were in top form. Hannah was asked to deliver the Honor’s Essay. This was her first speech in front of a large group and I was amazed by her confidence and poise.

Click on the thumbnail for larger images.

Yes, Mom, she wore the necklace! Here are the video highlights of the night.

Home from her graduation dance, she just told me she’s a high schooler now. Be still my heart.