Thursday, August 15, 2013

Middle School Madness

Remember how I said I was a 50/50 split of excited and devastated about Middle School arriving?

Yeah, well that was the day before it started. Now that we are one week in, I'm more like in a 50/50 split of "what the hell is going on" and "this has got to be the end times."

The short version is that Sam loves it and I hate it.

For the interested, here's the longer version...

I'll start with orientation.  Where I showed up with plans to leave him there all day.  I mean, the website SAID 8am-3pm.  Apparently, it's common sense (something I thought I had until middle school set me straight) to know that it's an open house orientation. You come with a parent and bounce around to stations and leave.  So definitely no dropping him off for a full day of hanging out with his friends and getting to know the building. He took mug shots pictures for the year book and I wrote $150 worth of checks.  We were done by 9.

First day of school.

I packed him a lunch and off we went! He was nervous but excited.  I almost crapped my pants when I saw kids jumping out of cars that were practically still moving and hustling into a building bigger than my catholic High School like cattle.  I begged Sam to let me take a picture of him outside the school even though I knew he would shoot me down and honestly, I was terrified to actually try.  It's a miracle that an accident didn't occur because I've never seen so many U turns in such a short amount of time.  I had a brief yet very deep moment of appreciation for the elementary school drop off.  As I made my expected U turn, Holly yells "mom, that guy just said they have a half day!" I panicked and pulled up the email on my phone.  And there it was, in bold print, 10:15am dismissal on the first day.  I was so hung up on the start time and the fact that it was 45 minutes BEFORE Holly started that I stopped paying attention.  I sent him in that building with a lunch!  I was, however, relieved to find out that it was only 6th grade there.  Praise God but....wait....that was only A THIRD of the usual traffic!?!?

It gets worse.  Much worse.

I got there nice and early for pick up and followed the crowd to park in what seemed to be the back of the building.  When kids started flooding out and I couldn't find Sam, I was literally sweating.  I then received a call from a mysterious number and answered in a panic.

Me:  HELLO!!!?
Sam: uh mom...
Me: I know! I'm here!!!! Where are you!?
Sam: oh
Girl who's phone he borrowed:  give me my phone back!
Sam: uhh in the front?
Girl who's phone he borrowed: why don't you have a phone anyway?
Me: HOLD ON! I'm coming that way!!! *click

Then after 15 minutes of sweating and panicking I found him.  I immediately texted Gage that we NEEDED to get him a cell phone and I marched him right into Verizon to gather the info.

Day 2:

I woke up with a terrible stomach ache but was determined to figure out this drop off with the rest of the school all there.  Other than the fact that I was in the car for 45 minutes to and from school due to traffic, it went as smooth as it could.  I got home and the stomach ache escalated into horrible pain.  Food poisoning.  Although I haven't quite pinpointed what caused it, I can confidently say that it was the worse day of my life.  It made labor contractions feel like heaven.  I didn't get one second of relieve for 12 hours other than the 6 times I vomited simply because it distracted me from the pain.

Since I was in no condition to drive or talk or walk or even open my eyes, Mandy was next in line for school pick up.  Sam walked around the building twice before he found her 15 minutes later.  I was half dead and didn't care.

Day 3:

I'm now getting the hang of drop off and coming to grips with the fact that it takes almost an hour. Pick up on this day was another classic.  I thought I was so awesome getting there super early and parking right up on the curb of the building.  I told Sam to expect me in that spot so I made sure it was mine. It was definitely mine.  It was mine for a good 20 minutes AFTER he got in the car because I was completely boxed in.  As we sat there, I watched mortified as the girls flirted with the boys at the crosswalk.

Day 4:

Sammy read the student handbook.  I'm sure there was plenty of good material in there but Sam has never been the kid that is attracted to the positive when the negative is so blatantly in his face.  Since kindergarten, he has always obsessed over the naughty kids.  In middle school, apparently, that obsession turns towards the inappropriate behavior.

He tells me that the handbook reads something like this:
No coming to school drunk, no smoking, no peeing on each other, no running around naked.  Oh, and the real kicker? The middle school drug dog (!!!!) will make 3 random visits throughout the year.

This has got to be the end times, people.  Even though we had a little laugh at how ridiculous those things are, it hurts my heart so much.  I know every mom has a hard time entering into a new phase of life.  I'm watching my sister struggle with the adjustment of sending her first to kindergarten and as my beloved Troupe 8th graders all entered High School this year, I choked up at every Instagram photo.  But there is just something about middle school that is so heart wrenching to me.  Maybe it's because I never went to a middle school and they always seemed so scary to a sheltered little catholic girl.  Maybe it's because it's a scary period of life for any kid and it's a time of serious change physically, mentally, and socially.  It's a time they are forced to grow up, whether they're ready or not.  My mind is spinning with mom worry.  Will he be influenced by the right people?  Will he make good choices?  Will his teachers say the right things and will he treat others well?  Will he remember what I told him about first impressions and girls having cooties?

The prophetic words "raging river" that I heard when he was a baby have been in the back of my mind for 11 years, but I feel them pressing towards the front in the form of concern.  I'm putting a smile on my face and telling him I'm so proud of him everyday but in reality I'm freaking out.  I'm praying against the enemies schemes and begging God to keep him innocent.  My heart wants to lock him up in a bubble and my head wants to just get him the damn cell phone but I'm not confident in either one.  I know I've been preparing for middle school for what feels like an eternity but it still took me by storm.  It's worse than I thought. I hope I'm being dramatic and as Gage tells me, using too many adjectives, but what if I'm not? What if this is the NEW reality?  Just in case, like mom to mom, I could use some prayers.


  1. You have caused me to have anxiety about it! Hang in there sister!

  2. I know that this is hard and I'm praying for you. If it makes you feel any better I had the same handbook when I was in middle school and its not as bad as you probably think. You and gage are great parents and that is the great foundation that god has laid out in sam's life. Having a solid home life has way more influence in his life than you think.