Thank you for sending along birthday wishes to my sweet girl. How is it that they grow so quickly?
Just yesterday Kyra and Jaiden were born. Now they’re ten and are barreling towards the end of their elementary school careers. Next year, they’ll be up at the middle school with me, albeit a couple of halls over with the sixth graders. Still, it freaks me out to think of them up there rolling with the big dawgs. Seriously – I look at middle schoolers and it is amazing to see how much growing they do between the time they start sixth grade and the time they make it up to the eighth grade where I teach. The chorus room is on my hallway, so twice a day I see midget sixth graders scurrying to and from there. They hug the walls and look up at the eighth graders with wide-eyed and fearful astonishment, as if they expect “the big kids” to slam them into lockers and give them atomic wedgies at any given moment.
Getting back to my point, it does cause a bit of a constant spazzniption – knowing that the twins, my delicately innocent genius spawn, will be in middle school next year. WE DEAL WITH GROWN FOLKS’ BUSINESS THERE. The grade levels are fairly segregated, but next year at age 11, the twins will still be considered “classmates” of my eighth graders, some of whom actually may turn 17 before the school year is over (yes, really).
When I was pregnant with the twins, I didn’t fear becoming a parent. I truly didn’t. I didn’t worry much about how our lives were going to change. I didn’t fear changing diapers or breastfeeding or balancing, even with the knowledge of having to do twice as much. The Terrible Twos and the even worse WTF?-I-THOUGHT-IT-WAS-OVER Threatening Threes were barely a blip on my radar. I didn’t fear not knowing what to do.
But this? This growing up thing? It has me freaking the FREAK out. I have seen kids lose their tiny minds once they start middle school. It’s the whole adolescent, OMG MY SOCIAL LIFE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER, WHO THE HELL NEEDS SCHOOL BECAUSE I KNOW EVERYTHING ALREADY, YOU OLD FART thing. I have to look through kids’ permanent records regularly. Many students make the honor roll all through elementary school, and then for whatever reason can’t handle the rigors of middle school. They never seem to adjust fully. Kids who were once respectful and agreeable turn into snotty, insolent turds. For some, it’s typical adolescent growing pains. For others, it’s the true start of who they’re going to be when they’re adults.
And let’s not even talk yet about puberty. I get dizzy thinking about things like maxi pads and morning wood in reference to my children.
I can’t help but wonder how our kids – all four of them – are going to evolve through the second halves of their childhoods.
Let’s discuss (please let’s discuss, for the sake of my imagined sanity) –
To everyone: What was your early adolescent phase like? Did you have a hell-on-wheels phase? Be honest. I won’t tell your mama you lied (unless you’re my sisters; I’m TOTALLY telling Mommy if you sit here and tell some untruths).
Parents in general: What phase of parenting spazzes/spazzed you out the most? Is/was it one stage in particular, or does the whole thing have the deer/headlights effect on you?
Parents of kids 12+: Is puberty/adolescence/the middle-to-high school years as frightful as I expect it to be? How tightly do I need to gird my gangsta loins?