Sunday, August 25, 2013

Middle School Stole My Baby

We survived our first week back to school/work. We only have 175 days to go till summer, so we're celebrating at Disneyland. (If you haven't figured this out already, we will celebrate almost anything at Disneyland. The kids remembered to put their dirty socks in the hamper?  DISNEYLAND! Yeah. Anything.) 

My family is still sleeping, so I've busied myself with waving at passing joggers as I shove waffles in my face. I lead a pretty challenging existence, I know. Because I haven't written in a while, I thought I might take a break from the joggers to check in...the joggers, but not the waffles. I can multitask. 

6 days ago middle school happened. I know you're thinking to yourself, "Middle school?  That can't be right. Joanna is only 22. How can she possibly have a child in middle school?"  I know. I think that to myself too. But it's real. It happened. 

The first day, I loaded the kids in the clown car and drove through a fog of nerves and fear to the new school. The parents were told not to park and walk the kids up. We were supposed to park several blocks away, and let the kids walk in on their own. SEVERAL BLOCKS?  Several blocks presents a real problem to my overprotective, control freak nature. But, I gave it a shot anyway. 

The kid got out of the car, and my mouth went dry. I could feel the lump rising in my throat.  It was like I was swallowing little shards of glass. He looked back to me wide-eyed (this was going to be a tearful goodbye, I could just tell) stood there for a moment, then quickly said, "Bye mom!" before slamming the door, and being surrounded by a gaggle of 7th grade girls. 
I hate middle school. But my son loves it.

It's been hilarious hearing all his awkward, coming of age stories from the first week. Fighting with combination locks. Finding friends at lunch. Changing for the first time in the gym locker room (horror and humiliation!).  We've all had those experiences. I just wish I could have seen the humor when I was going through them. 

Overall, he's still taking it better than I am. He's becoming independent and self sufficient just like he's supposed to. And I'm standing on the sidelines watching, wondering what the hell happened to the little boy I dropped off at preschool who grabbed the gates and screamed "Don't leave me in this place!" Not saying that's the reaction I wanted him to have to middle school. But one little backwards glance wouldn't have killed him either.  

I guess he's a man now. And that's ok, because men still have mommies. 

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