Thing 1 is headed to middle school. We entered the building and got directed to whichever "house" you were put in. This was not nearly as fun as using the sorting hat at Hogwarts. There were squeals of delight when friends found themselves in the same place. Thing 2 had a face that fell as one by one, her pals found themselves together in a different house from her.
So we start with some initial disappointment, but Thing 1 is nothing if not confident. She has the innate ability to focus on what is in front of her and seems to float with whomever and whatever is around her. People don't often influence her decisions unless she gets totally caught up in a group moment.
I fear this middle school thing will change that. I have always loved how other people's opinions of her choices don't matter to her. I have always watched with interest how she puts her interests out there--France, Harry Potter, voracious reading, art, knitting, travel, swimming- and some kids will look at her with a weird curiosity. But then she will shrug and happily carry on with her pursuits anyway. We were at a pool recently and none of her friends wanted to play or couldn't agree. She headed in to do laps without a glance backwards.
She got none of this from me.
I hope the vat of middle school juice isn't so powerful that she loses that confidence and security in what she loves.
I suppose I'll dig out my old cheerleading skirt and pom poms and do what I do best....offer encouragement all the while hoping she won't need it.