Clearly, as the title indicates, I so far have a lot of experience parenting a middle schooler.
For the sake of record-keeping, and my failing memory, I thought it might be
good therapeutic to write these thoughts and feelings down. Because though some stages move along quickly, and others d-r-a-g by painfully, time wipes away some of the day-to-day type memories, right?
So here are my thoughts in a nutshell: I’m pretty sure I’m a much better baby/toddler/preschooler/early elementary mom than I am a late elementary/middle school mom. This really comes as no surprise to me, as my college major focused on early childhood development. I feel like I’m probably too snarky and sarcastic to be good at this at all.
And let me say: it’s not like these new attitudes and behaviors and whatnot just came on when school started. By mid-5th grade, there was some evidence of this tween Luke sneaking into our home. I can only describe it as such: sometimes, he seems like an exceedingly mature teenager, and he knocks my socks off with his insight and knowledge and responsibility. And sometimes, he’s like a giant toddler. And ya never know what you’re gonna get.
I DO understand that this is a major time of growth/exploration/changing about who one is, and that there is a ton of science that indicates major brain function changes (like, parts of the brain literally don’t work like they used to while other grow and stuff – obviously, I’m majorly oversimplifying it, but you get the point). I don’t think Luke is abnormal. I just think I’m not used to this, and we – both Matt and I – need to get there.
Case in point: last weekend, one of us *might* have jokingly/not jokingly asked the other if it was possible that Luke had gotten a concussion we didn’t know about. So you know, we’re handling this well. And by well, I mean we’re having a drink after the kids’ bedtime.
Next, beginning band. Oh, beginning band.
Luke is doing a great job as he’s learning to play the trombone. From what I can ascertain, it’s a pretty hard instrument to learn (I played the flute, so I don’t know anything about this, really), and he’s taking his responsibility to practice at home seriously. He has an excellent band director who is making learning fun. I’m being supportive, and congratulating him when I recognize pieces he’s practicing.
But let’s talk about that practice. It’s 100 minutes a week, guys. ONE HUNDRED MINUTES. Bless. That’s a lot of beginning trombone practice every week. And yes, he’s only going to improve if he practices. It’s just…
…I’m pretty sure there aren’t trombones in heaven. Or at least, there aren’t trombones playing “Let’s Go Band” and “Hot Cross Buns.” It’s just a hunch, so don’t quote me on that.
Lastly, to middle school teachers and administrators and pastors the world over: I love you guys. I mean it. I don’t know what on Earth would possess you to choose to spend your time and career this way, but THANK YOU. Thank you for coming alongside us and wanting to help my child grow and figure things out, because I am not equipped. I have so much to learn from all of you.