Everyone knows Jr. High can be the most awkward years. Sometimes the most painful (in terms of your growing years). I didn’t mind Jr. High that much, actually. I had my hard days, my bad hair days, my zits are over taking my face days, and the classic, “I hate my life days.”
I think Jr. High the second time around is much harder. No, I didn’t . . .
have to repeat the 7th grade or 8th. And, I’m repeatedly reminded that these days it’s called Middle School and usually includes 6th grade (why do we want to make this season longer, academia?). When I’m talking about Jr. High the second time around I’m referring to being on the parenting side of Jr. High. Because this time, it’s like sending your open beating heart to school. This time the aches and pains aren’t just personal, they are parental.
We are at a good school. We have good friends. And, big picture is that Jr. High, here, is not so bad. Yet, there is no escaping the stormy journey from child to teenager. The days (or sometimes minutes) that vary like vanilla and chocolate. The tired groggy sleepyhead. The energetic bouncy spaz. The quiet, not usually an introvert introverting. The loud, learning my voice declaring. The highs. The lows. The happy. The sad. The boring. The exciting. My life is just beginning. My life is over.
Do you remember?
I’ve spent a good part of this last year reminding myself to remember. I’m making note of my memories. Mentally choosing to remember not just the fun times, but the day in, day out, ones too. I’ve been busy going through the file cabinet of my feelings, dated 1990. And, I’m fully aware of feeling those feelings, myself. Of having learned to walk on and walk through.
But, guiding your out of body heart. Well, that takes fortitude.
I look into the eyes that one minute need me and the very next roll from right to left, at me. And, I see me. Not exact me, but partial me and all her. And, I wonder how I can explain “these things aren’t so big,” “You are doing great,” “You will laugh about this tomorrow.” By the time I have a good way of approaching the situation (only because I’ve just gotten off the phone with my Mother), and I think I’ve found the right words, there is no situation at all. Suddenly, it’s “Can you just drive me here?” “My zits are gone,” and “I love my friends … I love my life.”
And, my heart is here, and there, and out everywhere. I suppose I’ll just have to let it live outside my body for a few years or maybe all of motherhood.
The only conclusion I’ve come to is that my parents are pretty amazing. They loved me through a million eye rolls and helped me not to hate my life.
P.S. – This post was approved by my Jr. Higher. I mean Middle Schooler.