So long, Middle School. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
That’s how I feel after my twin daughters, and youngest children, close out their eighth grade year in a few weeks.
Sure, there have been high points.
They learned important lessons about the constitution, algebra and what the anal region of a frog is named. They participated in amazing extracurricular activities like orchestra and band, track and field, and various school shows. They formed friendships, gained knowledge from amazing teachers, and acquired some very important life lessons.
But basically, middle school is, was, and will always be the worst…. until the end of time.
I mean, let’s start with the drama. So. Much. Drama. It’s the feeling of being left out or not being part of and the wanting to be in the middle of everything. It’s the worry about everyone else and what they’re wearing and what they’re saying and what they’re doing.
It’s about bodies that are changing and growing faster than young minds and emotions can catch up. It’s about being too much and not enough all at the same time. It’s periods and hormones that bring acne and mood swings and feelings for the opposite sex that are so confusing.
It’s about those phones–or really anything electronic connected to the Internet. It’s about the exhaustion from monitoring and reminding and reminding ten more times that it’s time to put the phone down or turn Fortnite off or to stop checking Instagram. It’s about those innocent group texts that go off the rails in about three seconds. It’s about screen-shotting and selfies and youtube challenges. It’s about the very real dangers that lurk on the other side of those screens.
It’s about your middle schooler clinging to you one moment and then pushing you away the next–or the 47 personalities they try on in a day. It’s about the constant struggle to determine what is a “big” problem and what issues to sweep under the rug. It’s trying to keep your mouth shut, but knowing when it you really have to speak up and say something.
But It’s Not Just About Your Kids
It’s about problems that feel too big to share and so other parents shut down and shut you out. Friendships fizzle, tribes untangle and the village seems to scatter just when you’re needing it most.
It’s about developing a flat derriere because you are always sitting in your car. It’s taking your kid to orthodontist appointments and dermatologists and sports practices and play rehearsals and friends’ houses and music lessons and sometimes feeling like you pass yourself on the road.
It’s the snarky comments that come out of your newly minted teenager’s mouth. It’s the constant state of embarrassment of your mere existence. It’s about watching your sweet baby turn into a raging angry teenager almost over night.
It’s Gut wrenching
It’s mean girls and too aggressive boys. It’s watching your child lose their personality to fit in with their peers.
It’s about the heartbreak of watching your kid fail or make bad decisions or wrong choices–knowing you have to let them do it, that we have to let them have some control over their destiny. It’s trying to guide them while letting them choose their own path.
It is all so exhausting.
So, it’s time to walk away from middle school for my two youngest. They did it all so well, despite the hot mess and daily dumpster fires that have defined the middle school years- yesterday, today and forever.
I’m proud of them, but oh so very done.
I know that all the drama and issues and mistakes that were made in middle school will serve them well as they enter this next chapter. I sigh with relief when other parents tell me that I will love what comes after grade eight. I am relieved to know that they grow out of so much of the drama that occurred the past three years, and although there are still many problems, it seems to level out.
So, see you Middle School. Thanks for the memories and the teachings and the life lessons. You won’t be missed.
Looking for a great resource to get through the middle school years?
We love this book by author Jessica Spears, Middle School – Safety Goggles Advised
Are you in the thick of raising your tweens and teens? You may like this book by Whitney Fleming, the co-owner of Parenting Teens & Tweens: Loving Hard When They’re Hard to Love: Essays about Raising Teens in Today’s Complex, Chaotic World.
Parenting Teens and Tweens can be challenging, but here are some other resources to help:
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