Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dazed and amazed

I am still in shock.

Yesterday, I received a letter from McMurray Middle School informing us of upcoming parents and student orientations, etc.

There has to be some mistake! How did I get on this list? Double take! Miss Molly? Are you going to be in 6th grade next year?


After the initial disbelief wore off, I noticed that McMurray seems to have the "big transition" well planned. The middle school counselor visits all the 5th grades classes a couple of times, middle school teachers and band director come to enthuse about how darn cool it all is. There are multiple visits to the school for the kids with next year's 7th grade mentors. And, of course, the parents Q&A evening; "7:00 PM sharp, do not be tardy".

Am I freaked, nervous, jittery? Yes, I am. Why? I am trying to put my finger on it.

There is a general unease about the middle school years in general. Sex, drugs, depression, dangerous behaviors. I remember it well. But, these are more general worries about the age group, less to do with my specific kid.

I do certainly have "my specific kid" worries too. One thing, she is one of the youngest kids in her class. Academically, it has never been a problem. Socially? Maybe a bit. Hard to know. She is resilient and seems to bounce back but there is social stuff going even now that she doesn't seem to fathom. Is it necessary? Maybe not.

Teasing? Bullying? Sort of. But, she sees things very pragmatically. "So-and-so is being nice now. She is not so mean anymore." She feels it is safe to be friendly with that someone now. I think about the manipulative nature of kid-kind and cringe for the inevitable slap.

We certainly can't do it for them. Not that I haven't tried. But, I do vow to be present and aware of what, who and where she is spending her time.

I had a little too much unsupervised time when young. Did I take advantage and pursue risky behavior? You bet your bippy!

Jake kids about being one of the fathers rocking on the front porch with a shotgun waiting for his darling "pumpkin" to get home from a dance. Aside from the shotgun, it is not that far from the truth.

The pendulum does swing back. Both Jake and I had plenty of freedom during those years. We have seen the naughty up close and personal and we have decided that it isn't going to be that way for ours.

This too may backfire. Yet another parental leap of faith, I fear.


Holly Nappi Collins said...

Oh boy! And how did you not know she was going to middle school next year!!! I want to laugh!! Nick is going to high school so I am not worried for you, you should be worried for me!!

Really, middle school was easier than elementary and kids are still pretty innocent, unless I've totally missed something!

Anonymous said...

It is a good thing middle school has been changed to 6-8 from 7-9 like it was when I was a kid (a long time ago). Getting 9th graders away from 7th graders was better.

I feel your pain, sympathize completely. I do think middle school is more dangerous than when I was a kid - uhm, everything seems to be (it was a long time ago). You might like my page titled 'Childproof' - linked in the middle column.

I posted on a free speech webinar on this Friday - you might be intersted.

Found you through mommy~dearest. Will be back. Barbara

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