Shit’s getting real, y’all. Why does seventh grade seem significantly more ominous than previous grades? Perhaps because it’s the year kids become teenagers. Maybe because it’s when puberty kicks into high gear. Or it could just be that the word “SEVENTH” seems so much longer than “SIXTH” — I mean, it’s a whole ‘nother syllable!
Yet if I’m being honest, much of my trepidation about my son entering seventh grade stems from my own experience. I’ve always proclaimed middle school my least favorite years, and the reasons are legion. Getting “pantsed” in gym class; an unwanted buzzcut from my grandpa; wearing corduroy bellbottoms (for the last time); being called “fat” the first time; a fight/trip to the principal’s office; my first school dance/french kiss/hickey (all on the same night); an evil math teacher; starting to grapple with my “different” sexuality. I won’t torture you with additional details — I’m sure many of you have plenty of awkward memories to draw upon as well.
But I’m determined to not let all that negativity affect my rapidly-maturing* middle schooler. He’s done so much growing this past year, both physically and emotionally. And it’s been such a treat to see him flex his independence, expand his tastes and interests, and just generally be more fun to be around.
The typical reaction to someone saying their child is entering their teen years is to cringe, cry, or offer condolences. Me, I’m choosing to go into this next phase with a positive attitude and buckets of hopefulness. Maybe I’m being naive, but hey, it couldn’t be any worse than my seventh grade… could it? Oh crap, did I just curse myself?!?
Check back next year to find out.
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Evolution of a middle schooler
My kiddo, grades K-6. Peruse the gallery, or click on the photos to catch up on previous years’ posts.
*He’s still got a way to go. The reason he’s laughing so hard in the photo is because he just farted.