Usually this time a year I am giddy, dancing around, happy happy HAPPY that they are going back to school. Summer has grown tiresome…we need structure, a routine, earlier bedtimes and all the talking and arguing needs to end. But this year I find myself anxious and worrisome. (My bite guard is getting its worth at night!)
This year I have a sweet 11 year old who will be entering Middle School (cue the scary horror movie music). While she is excited in the true Tweener sense, I see the worry and nervousness in her eyes. She is worried about getting to her classes on time, opening her locker in under 3 tries, where does she put her clarinet on the first day – band room or locker, will she get to lunch in time to sit by her BFF….etc etc. I want to take her worries away and let her know that it is ok to feel this way and by the end of the week it will all flow and be easier. She has lots of friends. Her locker is by half of them. She is popular and fits in with no problems. She works hard and hates to fail. Sometimes that means she worries herself too much on perfection. As Elsa would tell her: “Let it go”.
I also have a Middle School savvy teenager who is in her last year of Middle School. She is cool as a cucumber as far as her locker, getting to class on time and knowing the routine and what to expect. She is not nervous…however her momma is. While the routine is easy for her, its the nuts and bolts of her brain that worries me. She is my Venn Diagram girl…ADHD with impulsiveness, socially on the spectrum, anxiety disorder and Non verbal learning disorder – which simply means her actions don’t match up with her thinking and reasoning. All those things over lap and most of the time work against her. She comes across immature and obnoxious to other kids her age. That means her only true friend is a neighbor girl that doesn’t even go to her school. Middle school kids can be mean. Kids may laugh at her and she thinks they are laughing WITH her, Socially she acts younger than she truly is and could care less about name brands of clothing etc. While middle school kids think those are all bad things and make her feel like a loser…I see the positive in them. Immature – great! When she is 45 like her mom, she will feel 26 🙂 While other kids are wearing expensive brands and thinking they are all that – she is happy with Old Navy skinny jeans. She doesn’t NEED things to feel good about herself. She is authentic and real. She is naive but that protects her from the others that don’t see her beauty. She will wear her hair the way SHE wants – crazy or not…but she is being HERSELF and not falling into a stereotypical mold just to fit in. While at times these are a struggle and so opposite of her sister, they will be great assets to her when she is older. As a mom I worry because of the kids and people that don’t see her beauty and humor like I do. She doesn’t fit the mold of a 13 year old and that is ok. I need to “Let it go” and support her and give her extra love and support to make up for those who don’t. I do that happily.
Here is to a school year of firsts for some and lasts for others. Middle School years are scary for parents and kids….teach your kids to always make good choices, be kind and patient and they will do great!
So for now, chill your champagne so after the bus pulls up tomorrow you can celebrate!