Back To (Middle) School, Again

At this time last week, I was slinking out of my son’s middle school, trying not to look like a bad parent. Last Wednesday was Parent Visitation Day, a day when parents are supposed to shadow their children, attending classes and getting a feel for how their days are spent. I had not planned on going because I thought my big shot eighth grader wouldn’t want me there. Okay, that’s only half-true. I hadn’t planned on going because Wednesdays are a great heavy lifting day at my gym and I didn’t want to miss it, plus I had a writing deadline and, oh yeah, I just didn’t want to go. Two years ago, when middle school was a new experience for our family, I spent the entire day trailing my son … From 7:30AM to 2:30PM … It was brutal, and yes, I blogged about it.

But to my surprise (and slight disappointment), my 13-year-old did want me there. So after a quick morning workout at home and an even quicker shower, I arrived for my first (technically second) day of eighth grade.

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That’s me at the end of eighth grade with my besties, Kerin and Carin. Yes, we are holding hands and yes, that is a big, white bow in my hair. Don’t judge!

Despite arriving a few minutes late and with my hair still damp (pulled into my trademark messy top-knot bun with headband, as usual), this time around I did it right. I wore comfy leggings with riding boots for maximum comfort to accommodate all the sitting and walking. I came prepared with a fully charged iPhone and a notebook to scribble notes for this blog post. I brought two large cups of green tea plus a big bottle of water to help me stay alert. And most importantly, I ditched school after morning classes to avoid the cafeteria disaster. Two words, people: Older (and) wiser.

Later, while I casually ate my lunch at home, I read through my notes and reread my blog post from two years ago. Not unexpectedly, my commentary was nearly the same: The school is still a depressing rat maze, it’s still easy to pick out the sixth graders from the eighth graders, the chairs are still super uncomfortable and I’m still tardy. That said, I did make a few new observations this time around. Specifically,

  • most moms dressed to impress; I was showered and out of my workout clothes, so I guess I was, too
  • geography is pretty boring (today’s lesson: cartography = snoozefest!)
  • I don’t remember much from geometry class
  • middle schoolers don’t pee (at least not before lunchtime)
  • my son is pretty popular in the middle school hallways, and so am I 🙂
  • my kid, while a pain in the ass most days at home, really is a good kid

After attending six classes in four hours, I can honestly say that I am not cut out for school anymore. I am too fidgety, uncomfortable and uninterested (except for Honors English class). Plus, I pee too often. So while I’m still bummed about missing last Wednesday’s workout and I’m certainly not looking forward to doing this again next year when my younger son hits middle school, I am glad I went because it seemed to make my son happy … And isn’t that what it’s all about?

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My eighth grader with his buddies: Too cool for school. Oh wait, that’s not what they say anymore … They’re on fleek.

What boys looked like when I was in the 8th grade.

For comparison, here’s what boys looked like when I was in the eighth grade back in the 80s.

– LJDT

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