I’m all grown up and middle school still freaks me out. When I walked my oldest into middle school to register him for the new year, my pulse quickened, my palms got sweaty and I felt anxious. What the heck? I’m a grown woman. How can an institutional beige-walled facility that smells like bleach and dust make my stomach drop…still?
Right when we walked in a gaggle of girls all done up in their blue eyeshadow and short cut-offs giggled and whispered to each other as they passed us in a knock-off perfume plume. I looked at my oldest to see what he thought of the girls, but he was looking straight ahead with an expressionless, unsure-eyed face. I call this face the middle school daze.
I feel for him. I remember too well how awkward and uncomfortable I felt when I was in middle school. Some kids are hitting puberty, while others won’t hit it for years. Some are 6 feet tall, while others look like third graders. Some kids have hair growing places and girls are talking about periods and maxi pads. The smells are strong also–body odor, perfume, cologne and stinky feet. Some kids are pudgy because they haven’t grown up yet, while some are rail thin because they haven’t grown out. Opposing feelings are rapidly firing through their brains and hearts–happy, sad, hyper, lazy, starving, full, hateful, loving. With all this going on, it’s amazing they are able to get out of bed and do their math homework.
I get glimpses of smiles and animation now and then from my son. I’m not going to let his middle school daze worry me. I’m glad I went to the middle school with him and had my memory triggered. It helps me understand what he’s going through. May the force be with him as he manuevers through the hallways of his middle school daze. I’ll be right here watching, praying, laughing, crying and waiting to see him smile with his eyes and succeed.
Go get’m, Tiger!