I have a middle school-aged child. Let me correct myself. I have a thing, living in my house that resembles my daughter, who is now in middle school. She has middle school features, including a personality as big as…well her mother’s. And though she’s a blessing (of course, of course) most of the time, there are those sketchy moments when I just peer in her room from around the door frame, trying to cautiously gauge her mood. I’m right 12% of these times. And those other times….it’s scary.
So we’re literally three weeks deep into this middle school life, and there are things I am already noticing. First, getting up at 5:45, though quite impossible nearly three and a half weeks ago, is not only easy, but a necessity this year. “We cannot be late for drop off, Mother.” Of course not, darling. And so we are up.together. just the two of us. for over an hour. And though our house boasts three large bathrooms, the Middle School Beast prefers none other than….sharing a bathroom with me. Because though she’s old enough for..well everything else, she still insists on Mom doing her hair each morning. Sidebar: I am embracing every single morning of “hair time” with this girl while she’ll still have me. This is NOT a complaint, I promise. But, one misplaced hair from her precious little noggin, and the morning is shot to hell.
And then we leave for drop off. 6:58am, precisely. Because by the time we get the middle school bestie from the adjoining neighborhood, we are pulling up to the drop off line at just the right time that allows for brief chatting with the other besties, but not too long that their “backs start killing them” in the hallway before the bell rings. Oy. It’s a science, ya’ll.
So this Morning Life has been nearly perfected by week three. *slow wave aaaaaand curtsey*
So then there’s the cell phone debacle. Listen, before you “wait til eighth grade” Moms start silently judging, just know I’m basically on your side, and probably agree that I should have waited. But then…well, it has also been an incredible way to stalk my kids while they’re away from home (see also: at their dad’s house). And so she has a phone. A middle school girl, with a cell phone. And data. What could go wrong. *hangs head aaaaand slumps shoulders* The phone has been helpful, in all seriousness. Except when she’s on the bus headed home, and texts me constantly (while I’m working, of course) asking for a trillion things that COULD wait until I get home an hour later. But there’s something sweet about seeing my sweet girl’s name pop up on my phone (albeit 86 times) while I’m at work that just makes me smile and overlook the poor parenting choice of the iPhone package plan that I’m paying fifty extra dollars for each week. So. Worth. It.
I realize I am still just getting a smidge of the Middle School Life right now. At 11, she’s still worried more with decorating her folder than she is with texting boys (trust, I check that biz). And she’s still at the age where she includes her little Bro in a majority of her evening and weekend plans. We have far fewer days of Teen Tude than not. And from what I’ve heard, I should soak this up before she actually turns 13 and hates me for the next decade!