H has a crush on another 8th grader. I think when I look back this may be the turning point for when my little girl changed into a teenager. When she was little, we never had a really bad "terrible 2" stage, and other than her anxiety over grades in middle school, the transition was really smooth. She always told me everything about her day, asked about mine, and took my advice on just about everything, from school work to personal habits, and even every once in awhile, she listened to my input about boys. Not anymore.
Now, I get the ipod in the ears, the "mmm-hmmm", or "not much", "fine", and "nothing" one syllable answers when I ask her questions. I'm trying not to get too upset. I know it's part of her growing up, becoming more independent, and thinking for herself. It's hard to admit to myself that J and I are not the only influences on her life anymore. I can still steer her, gently protect her to a certain degree, and hopefully give her opportunities to make her own decisions and along with that, her own mistakes. With luck she'll learn from those mistakes, and try to make more good choices than bad.
Right now, the "crush" is very exciting. I do remember those feelings. I also remember the heartbreak that came after the initial exhilaration. I wish I could protect her from that, but I think she has to go through all of it, the good and the bad. I can't wait until she comes out on the other side, to my open arms!