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middle of the road
March 23rd, 2011 by wrekehavoc

middle school. the loveliest time of life, methinks.

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i’m very fortunate to have a relationship with my daughter where she still deigns to speak to me. at the ripe old age of 12+, girlfriend is supposedly at the point of life where parents are beyond embarrassing. i remember trips to the mall where i tried to walk several paces away from my mom (not always, of course — just when kids from school were sighted) and pretended to have been apparently spawned from thin air. don’t get me wrong — i have always, always adored my parents. but it was a tricky phase at times, balancing the person i was with the person i knew i should be.

girlfriend doesn’t seem to be bothered by that sort of nonsense. she’s clearly more mature at this age than i was. (arguably, she is still more mature than i am, but that’s fodder for a different day.) she walks with me. sometimes, she’s even willing to still hold my hand. (not when her friends are around, of course, but that’s to be expected.) and best of all, she continues to tell me all about the magical time she is having as a young middle schooler.

middle school, in her view at the moment, is full of dudes experimenting with their respective swaggers. i hear tales of boys using extremely profane language (one was talking directly to BC for a time. i called his mom, as i knew that if it were my kid, i would want someone to call ME. bless that mom’s heart; she heard me, understood me, and together, we worked to change that situation around. i am very grateful to her.) i hear of boys putting irish spring soap in their pants, mushing it around, then taking it out and giving it back to other boys, an act which seems unbearably odd. and of course, on her school bus, there is the issue of the traveling tampon. it is apparently the height of comedy to throw a tampon around the bus, although the other day, girlfriend was extra-mortified by this activity, as the aforementioned feminine protection product had what appeared to be some blood on it.

ew.

most of her girlfriends appear to be relatively sane at the moment, but of course there is talk about the girls who are rude, petty, and mean.  there are the girls who are dressed up, date, and go grinding with the boys at a monthly local church dance.  some things never change, i guess.

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i asked the girl once about whether kids were dating in the 6th grade. her response?

well, yeah, if you call dating sitting together in the cafeteria, hanging outside during lunchtime, and then, if you’re really, really crazy, walking up the street afterschool to the harris-teeter to go get a free sugar cookie.

i have been informed that this sort of activity is not for her at the present time. i am, in short, relieved.

middle school is like a cauldron of sturm und drang. i continue to share with her my tales of my time in hell, where the boys ran around and snapped your bra straps without anyone screaming sexual harassment and where having glasses and/or braces was pretty much a sentence into your own private gulag for a few years. mercifully, the latter seems to not be in play anymore, but it is still a rocky, rocky time. her tales sometimes are so cringeworthy; they remind me of times i didn’t particularly enjoy.  and yet, i hope i continue to hear her tales, no matter how graphic, gory, or gross.

for as she crosses the street toward adulthood, it’s sometimes a good idea to continue to hold hands while in the middle of the road. at least, for now.


4 Responses  
  • Mary Lynn writes:
    March 23rd, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Ha–love the quote from the girl. If you call THAT dating…

    Also love the Pretenders vid…as soon as I saw the title of your post, I knew it was going to be in there. I’ll have Middle of the Road going through my head all day, and that’s just fine by me.

  • wrekehavoc writes:
    March 23rd, 2011 at 8:04 am

    LOL! i had a momentary thought of using “back on the chain gang” — but then i thought, which one would i rather have as an earworm for the rest of the day? no contest 🙂

  • Christina writes:
    March 23rd, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I am so blessed (though some days it doesn’t seem like a blessing!) to have a 14 year old boy who STILL yammers his way through the day. I love the conversations he sparks with his tales of high school lunch & locker room chatter. Well, “love” might be a strong word…some days you kinda wish he’d NOT share!
    What’s really funny is that since he is still not really interested in the dating game at all, he observes those who are with a very wry amusement of his own and shakes his head at how easy it is to mess with their heads/emotions when one of his friends does fall for someone.

  • wrekehavoc writes:
    March 23rd, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    how especially cool that a boy does this — mine clams up, and he’s not even 8 yet :/


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