...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

i promise to stop before this becomes a nickelback song

In just a little more than three weeks, my oldest son will be a middle school student. If you ask him his opinion of starting sixth grade, you'll get a lackadaisical response about his alleged disdain for school. He doesn't really hate it, of course, but saying you hate school is somewhere in the bylaws of being a 10 year old boy. Probably in Section 8, subcategory C, right after "Laughing at farts is mandatory."

If you were to then turn to me and ask how I'm coping with this new phase in his life, be prepared for the kind of rambling discourse of someone going through the seven stages of grief who hasn't quite yet been rewarded with acceptance and hope. It's hard for me to see a sixth grader under the flop of blond hair atop my son's head (I know. I have no idea where he gets it from, either). I don't feel I've had him long enough to allow this. However, the day after he turns 11, he'll get up and pull on clothes from a pile of new shirts and shorts bought to replace all he outgrew this summer, shovel down a bowl of cereal, endure a first day of school photo shoot, then head off down the street to meet the friends he plans to walk to school with. My hope is he'll continue the tradition he's had since kindergarten of turning around every three or four steps and waving goodbye to me, but I'm already bracing myself for the possibility he won't. I believe this might be part of the denial stage.

He'll be attending the same building where I graduated high school back when the school district was significantly smaller. Just before summer break, I attended a parent's night orientation hosted by school administrators to get of glimpse of what this chapter in his academic story would be like. As I followed the other parents funneling into the gym, I was punched in the nose by the thick, sweaty smell of the room, which made me remember how much I actually hated school when I was a student in this building. Maybe there is something to those bylaws.

Also? Some farts ARE funny.

Walking into that building also made me tear up a little bit. I know. Lame. But not really. Middle school was the introduction of cliques and contests I had no idea how to maneuver, and while my friends kept walking down the path of popularity, I smacked face first into the signpost marked "oddball" because I was too busy gawking at my shoes, and I never veered off. There's nothing wrong with being the oddball, a little fact I'd happily tell the younger version of me I swear I spotted huddled on the bleachers across the room from me that evening. But because I didn't feel that way all those years ago, because I was a junior high gecko attempting to blend into her environment so as not to attract attention of predators, I'm bracing myself for my son's introduction to middle school with a sense of trepidation that is all, it seems, of my own creation.

It's hard to not to laugh smugly and tell him real life school isn't like High School Musical, where the gang all likes each other and breaks out into perfectly in sync dance moves (but how flippin' kick ass would that be, and I am not lying!), but I also don't chime in with tales of my middle school angst when the topic comes up around the house. For all I know, my son may enter middle school on August 20th, and have a completely different experience than the one I had, which, sorry Oddball Me, I kind of hope that's the case.

I've spent this summer watching my son crack open the doors leading to his freedom a little bit wider every day. It's not been easy watching him test the waters of his freedom, but each year that passes makes it more and more inevitable. I suppose this summer was designed as a prep course for me. If I asked him, he'd say, "Actually, Mom, I think it was designed for both of us. Also, I hate school. And did you know farts were funny?" He's a good kid. A smart kid. Letting a bit of him go has allowed me to I let him go, as it were.

But I'm still in the denial phase, and I'm not sure that I won't be out of it before the end of his first semester.

Labels:

44 Comments:

Blogger Bee said...

FIRST!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger Bee said...

Um, sorry, I got a little carried away there.

Anyway, I think our parents didn't know how to handle any awkwardness we might have had in school. I think that our generation of parents can better guide kids with all the problems they may encounter.

My mom would just push us out the door on our first day of school and never think anything could go wrong.

So, yeah.

Sunday, July 27, 2008 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

I was lucky enough to transition to middle school with a lot of my friends from elementary school.

High school was a different kettle of cliquey fish.

Sunday, July 27, 2008 11:55:00 PM  
Blogger TLC said...

I hope middle school goes well for him. Uhm, yuk? My 14 yr old is very fond of saying that life is not High School Musical.

And, my son would agree with you. Farts are funny. He is 9. And a boy.

Monday, July 28, 2008 12:35:00 AM  
Blogger Alice said...

Aw shit. You're going to make me all weepy now. I don't get overly sentimental at stuff, but I just moved BoyChild out of the room he shared with GirlChild and I got all sad about it. GirlChild said she was lonely now.

I think right now is the perfect age for both of them. Let's stop right here.

Here's hoping you keep us rolling in the stories of middle school. And that he turns around and waves.

ps. Farts ARE funny.

Monday, July 28, 2008 4:51:00 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Mine is going to be a sophomore. First year at the "big" high school. Three of my cousins in my age group are grandma's. How does this happen?

Monday, July 28, 2008 7:16:00 AM  
Blogger Phyllis RenĂ©e said...

Cherish every moment, every memory, every milestone. My baby girl is leaving home and moving into a house with five of her friends in less than a month. Don't even ask me about the range of emotions!

Monday, July 28, 2008 9:45:00 AM  
Blogger Stacie said...

yeah..I felt that way when my first entered middle school too..now he's in college and my "baby" is going to be a Junior! Yikes..it goes by soooo FAST!
Stacie

Monday, July 28, 2008 9:45:00 AM  
Blogger Cocotte said...

My youngest will be in his last year of middle school. I tend to be more concerned about how old I'm getting vs. how old my kids are getting!

Monday, July 28, 2008 9:45:00 AM  
Blogger Biscuit said...

I think middle school is hard for everyone, no matter what. One building full of puberty. Yay!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008 9:53:00 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

GETCHA' HEAD IN THE GAME!

It should be noted that I bust out the random dance moves from time to time.

My class in junior high consisted of 10 girls and 3 guys. Really only two and 1/2, because one of those guys was even weirder than I was. Although I, no doubt, thought I was super cool.

And trust me, those 10-to-3 odds? Did not help me with the ladeez one bit.

*PS* You are SUCH a mommyblogger.

Monday, July 28, 2008 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Wonderful World of Weiners said...

And it just gets harder and harder. High School damn near killed me. I still can't believe CJ graduated and that now Connor is going to be a Sophmore.

Hallie :)

Monday, July 28, 2008 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Sunshine said...

Our oldest is starting High School this year. Since he only moved to live with me and his dad last year, we didn't get to do all the other "firsts" that he's had.

Ugh, I hadn't really thought of it until now - darn, now I'll be all sentimental. As the "step-mom", I kinda thought I was immune from all that...

Monday, July 28, 2008 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger justlori2day said...

I think I am grateful Mantha doesnt turn 11 until 26 days after school starts or I would be on valium! Luckily she will be only going into 5th grade which is still scaring the living shit out of me. I was in the right crowd most of the time (minus my senior year when my more popular boyfriend [from a competitive school no less] knocked me up - can you say leper?), but I have always feared my actions to be in the "in crowd" would come back to haunt me some day. And they are. Mantha is very timid and very very very easily influenced by her peers. So the fact the 5th grade is knocking on our door ferverently has me shaking in my knickers!

And that is no where near my stress of Jadon starting big K this year. When he started pre-k last year I wanted to put him back in diapers and snuggle him for another year.

But, life goes on, and they grow up and dont talk to you anymore, so I must digress and deal with it!

Monday, July 28, 2008 12:07:00 PM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

Ugh. I was an oddball, victim-of-cliques girl starting from about the 6th grade on, so I feel you. Luckily, around sophomore year I found a group of other oddballs that became my bffs to this day.

However, I heard somewhere that boys navigate all of that clique crap easier. Right? Right?

Monday, July 28, 2008 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger XI Summit said...

I'll just keep quiet about what stage of life we're in. No need for a Monday smack-down .....

Monday, July 28, 2008 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Chag said...

It seems around here, cliques didn't start until high school. Guess we're just slow in North Carolina.

Monday, July 28, 2008 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

ALL farts are funny. He *is* a smart kid.

Monday, July 28, 2008 1:56:00 PM  
Blogger Chas said...

According to my husband, farts start out funny, and just keep getting funnier. By 35, they're flipping hysterical, especially when you have kids to laugh with. They develop categories, sub-categories and take on a life of their own.

My own personal philosophy regarding the growing up of my children is "deny, deny, deny." But yeah, it will probably bite me in the butt at some point.

Monday, July 28, 2008 2:59:00 PM  
Blogger Brian o vretanos said...

My parents always told me that adulthood was far better than childhood, and when I was having problems at school that I'd realise how unimportant it all was when I was older. And they were right.

Farts are funny from birth. Chas's husband is spot on...

Monday, July 28, 2008 3:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Redneck Mommy said...

Farts are always funny. Unless you are standing in front of a church, vowing your eternal love and devotion to a hunky blonde man before a packed congregation of family and friends.

Then it's funny and freaking embarrassing.

Not that I have any experience with that or anything. Ahem.

My daughter is entering middle school this year. It's all about bras and boyfriends.

I'm not ready for it yet. But I guess I better strap on the water wings and get ready, because it's coming fast and furious whether I like it or not.

Monday, July 28, 2008 4:07:00 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

I feel like maybe we went to middle school together. I was the girl with hair down to her butt hiding behind her books when she walked home from school so no one would make fun of her.

I was also in denial I had breasts. I strapped those bad boys down like there was no tomorrow.

I can't believe you're such an old lady you've got a son in middle school!

Sorry, had to throw that one in there.

Monday, July 28, 2008 4:40:00 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Hey, there's a place for denial, designed on purpose. Use it and know when the time comes you'll be feeling not just acceptance but exhilarence. Your boy is starting middle school!

Monday, July 28, 2008 5:44:00 PM  
Blogger kimmyk said...

I think boys are different than girls. Adam never had a problem and sadly, you've been there now with me through Abbie's experiences and hers suck compared to his.

Boys dont let all the extra stuff bother them. They tend to keep it light, keep it simple..keep it semi homemade. ? Sorry. Channeling my inner Sandra Lee there.

Anyways...I think it'll be different for him. I couldn't help but remember all these anxious feelings because I remember when I sent Adam off to middle school. It was like a weight was sitting on my shoulders-and it didn't let up til he walked through the doors that first day and smiled. I knew then it would be okay.

Ab's going to be a sophomore this year-I hope I can finally smile for her even though she tells me she's fine. I remember that "fine" and it's never fine is it?

Keep your chin up-there's nothing you can do about your boy growing up except sit back and 'let' it happen. He'll always be your baby.

I love you forever
I like you for always...
As long as I'm living my baby you'll be.

Monday, July 28, 2008 6:41:00 PM  
Blogger April said...

Isn't strange how they change right before your very eyes yet you don't really notice? One day it just hits you that they are different. Where is that little boy who played in the Tupperware cabinet and constantly ate fish crackers? It's so not fair. I miss that little kid.

Monday, July 28, 2008 8:08:00 PM  
Blogger MereCat said...

Wow. Wow. Wow. What a milestone. Middle school. It does get different as you pass into that newness. It's pretty cool, though, that it's the same school building where you went. I like that.

Be brave, Mama.

Monday, July 28, 2008 8:56:00 PM  
Blogger San Diego Momma said...

I'm still wrapping my head around kindergarten and my oldest doesn't go until next year.

I'm sure 'll go through all the stages you are, too. I've never been one to eschew sentimentality.

And it seems the oddball worked out wonderfully for you. :)

Monday, July 28, 2008 11:04:00 PM  
Blogger The Savage said...

I graduated as a Gecko.... not kidding... that's the school mascot for George Washington High School on Guam...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 4:44:00 AM  
Blogger Manager Mom said...

Oh...middle school. I thought it would be done traumatizing me, and now I see that it will get me in a whole different way in just a few years, when my kids go.

I will send virtual cocktails and highly choreographed dance moves your way, to help you survive the first day.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 5:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

6th grade is ok in middle school. 7th grade is when the weirdness starts with our kids these days. 7grade seems to be when the girls get their bitch on, and the boys start doing the jock thang. But for some reason they all come back in the 8th grade. don't know why, I just like it.

Namaste.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 5:58:00 AM  
Blogger CT Mom said...

My daughter also starts 6th grade this year. Hormones are in full swing. One day she loves me, next day she hates me (or sometimes minute by minute). Unless it's allowance day.

=Sigh= At least I have her younger sister. She still loves me. Especially on allowance day.

BTW - girls think farts are funny, too.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 6:12:00 AM  
Blogger Bogart in P Towne said...

Thought about you as I read this post by a minor league ball player...can you imagine why?

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/prospect-diary/2008/266553.html

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 8:06:00 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

Middle school--seems like a necessary evil.

My daughter's obssesed with American Eagle clothing and makeup brushes. I don't even use makeup brushes.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 9:35:00 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

LAST!!! ????

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 9:35:00 AM  
Blogger morton said...

"My hope is he'll continue the tradition he's had since kindergarten of turning around every three or four steps and waving goodbye to me, but I'm already bracing myself for the possibility he won't."

That's really sad.

That being said, not some but all farts are funny....unless they are performed in my face. Then that isn't funny at all.

I can see why manager mom has a crush...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Choppzs said...

I think you and I should talk! lol Girly is entering 6th grade this year and I am bracing myself. Except for the fact that we may be transferring her to a different school. Her 5th/6th grade school is rough. They had 6th graders starting fires, and there was a gang initiation last year. I don't need her going into that. The school we are sending her to is small and is all the grades (k-12) in one school. Kind of like a small private school, but public. Small town! lol But my biggest fear is that she will hate me for taking her out of the school she knows. Her friends. That kind of thing. But we have sat with her, talked to her, explained things, and she seems ok with it. Just worried. As any kid would be. I think I am more nervous then she is.

Excuse me, I have to go throw up now!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Nanette said...

I'll be back to comment! Gotta run...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 5:11:00 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

Middle school traumatized me... went from a small private school to a big, scary public one. Yikes.

After that, high school seemed like a dream.

And I can say that once you're a teacher for 12 years, the hilarity of farts does start to wear. Jeest a leeetle bit.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 6:24:00 PM  
Blogger Mandy Lou said...

According to the husband all farts are funny - so it must be a boy thing (since I think only some farts are funny).

Middle School huh? Well I hope he has a better time then I did - I was on the oddball bleachers too.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 10:53:00 PM  
Anonymous TwoBusy said...

I thought I left this comment earlier, but apparently I'm delusional. No surprise there.

Anyhow, it must be strange and difficult to watch the little boy you've spent so many years loving and holding close to you growing into someone else -- even someone who may someday push you away.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 9:20:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Bee - And all is right with the world!!

Bee - My parents never really had any talks with me about life. Ever. It wasn't until I was nearly done with college that my Dad walked over to me one day and tried to have one with me, and I was all, "Dad. I know. Also? I've already had sex, and that seems to be working out OK for me, so we're good." Now days, I think my kids think I'm talking to them too much. Mostly to myself, but it seems like stuf they should hear!

BP Dad - You were lucky you still had a couple years of happy bliss before high school. We were hardcore where I grew up!

TLC - Yeah! Good to see you here! I think my boys were born farting AND laughing about it. Middle school will probably go off far better for him than I am conjuring up in my mind, but it will probably stress me out the entire time!

Alice - I so hope he keeps turning around and waving, too. If not, I'll run after him and make him! Then I'll go home and weep. I've become a very weepy person of late!

Heather - I can't even bring myself to accept the idea of high school yet! When the school enrollment forms for my boys had their graduation years on them, I about dropped them when I realized my oldest will graduate in 7 years!

Phyllis - I think I just had some ranging emotions for you about what you're facing! It does wisk by in an absolute blink.

Stacie - I imagine the day will come when I'll appreciate them not being around so when I see them, it's even more delightful. This, of course, means Tool Man needs to kick up his conversational skills for those super kid-less days and nights at home!

Cocotte - Deep down, that part about me getting older is at the very root of this post, because I don't think I feel or act like I should yet!

Biscuit - I am so ill prepared for the swirling mass of puberty. I'm already watching girls giggle around this son of mine, and wondering how I'll deal with things when he notices them back.

ftn - "We're all in this together!" Let's you and me just go through life busting out into random song and dance whenever it strikes us. I'll absolutely go first! Why? Because you are supa cool with the laydeez and you have swayed me and my mommy bloggin' ways.

WWoW - High school did kill me. I am a zombie! I do not at all look forward to that part of this parenthood thing yet, at all!

Sunshine - You'll have to keep me clued in on how this whole high school thing goes off so I can prepare myself!

Lori - I am quite surprised how incredibly outgoing my children are, how willing they are to jump into things and meet people, this despite coming from two parents who are rather socially precarious. I hope that this time in his life doesn't alter that aspect in my oldest's life. As for my soon-to-be first grader (which is another gasp altogether!), I firmly believe he'll one day run the world and we should all brace ourselves!

Weirdgirl - Oh, you and I would have been fantastic friends in school. That is, if I'd have had the courage to break out of my self-imposed super shyness and talked to you. I was even bad with the fellow oddballs! I've heard the same thing about boys and their ease. I so hope it's the case!

XI - Ha! That's right. You've navigated these waters. I'm sure you and Des (when he returns) could definitely educate me far more on these matters.

Chag - I'd have been thrilled to have been slow if such was the case. I muttered "Lucky!" when I got your comment!

Her Bad Mother - Glad to have stop by here. Thanks for commenting! With regard to the humor in farts, my kids are freakin' geniuses!

Chas - AH! How have I lived in a house filled with boys this long and not remembered the fart rankings!? Perhaps they are doing that when I am not home, trying to pass off some illusion of politeness for me!

Brian - If we could skip the whole high school drama and head right into adulthood, I'd be down with that, for your parents were, indeed, right.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Redneck Mommy - Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I'd probably be in a huge (potentially farting!) mess if I had girls entering this phase. Much respect! Here's hoping we both get through the first year unscathed!

Meg - Ha! Honey, I am only as old as I act! Had I had longer hair in middle school, it would have so been down to hide me. Instead, I buried my face in a book, hoping that would do the trick.

Melissa - You are my silver lining! My pot of gold! Thank you!

kimmy - First you had me laughing with your Semi-Homemade homage. Then you had me crying when you busted out with the "Love You Forever" business. You gave me rapid fire PMS, girlie! I'm so coming to you for help when these types of traumas and dramas roll around, for you're like my cool mom role model!

April - That's very true. Every morning this boy of mine comes downstairs and he acts and looks entirely different from the one I said goodnight to a few hours prior.

Merecat - I'm taking lots of deep breaths! I'm, in all honesty, very anxious to see how he navigates this whole process.

San Diego Momma - The oddball, in the long run, really seemed to work out OK for me. We conquered kindergarten at my house last year with my youngest. It was an amazing year. Doesn't quite mean I'm mentally ready for him to go into first grade, though!

Savage - Perhaps I was channeling a little Savage uniqueness when I was putting the wraps on this post. Whatcha think?!

Manager Mom - I'm thinking of taking that entire first week of school off, and if cocktails can be added to the mix, well, more definitely the better!

Phil - So you're saying I have at least one more year befor the full blaze of trauma and drama really kicks in, huh? For that, then, I offter you up my thanks! Also, thanks for coming by and commenting!

CT Mom - Before my oldest ever started school, he turned to me one day and announced, "You know, I am not going to live in this house with *you* people for the rest of my life!" So, in a way, I think I've been preparing myself for this rollercoaster for awhile! Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment!

Bogart - It's like the author of that entry you sent me was living a week in my own house! :)

Meg - And my make up brushes fall apart and are worthless most of the time. I question my ability to be a mother to a daughter!

Meg - But never in my heart, honey!

Morton - You are absolutely correct. In the face farts are never, ever funny, infanity. I've got a big old crush on Manager Mom, too! Glad you stopped over from her place and left a comment!

Choppzs - OH!!! You have me traumatized!! Totally traumatized! I'd totally swap schools, too! I think you and I will have much to talk about this school year!

Nan - I shall wait for you!!

Mandy - Oh, you did have a switch! I can see wher high school would be a magical place after that! I wonder if being the only female in a house full of males also equals the experience of being a teacher in a classroom full of kids?!

Mandy Lou - We'd have all had a good time hanging out on the oddball bleachers!

Twobusy - Sigh...the pushing away...In my mind's eye, I'm still holding his tiny little tush in the palm of my hand and locking eyes - mine adoration, his confusion! - with this creature I'm unleasing!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Nanette said...

I told you I'd be back, sigh. Would it help if I told you that I've had coming back to leave a comment on the top of my mental to-do-list for a week?
I am frightened by the idea of kindergarten--I can't even imagine the horror of middle school. It seems like once you have children, someone hits the fast forward button on your life and hands you a remote with no batteries (ha, I am cheesy like that). I think the denial phase will last forever sweetie, I know it will for me.

Thursday, August 07, 2008 6:20:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Nan - At least you have a to do list, sweets! Mine is littered with good intentions that I plan to attack when the kids go back to school in less than two weeks, but then I think about them going to school, and how they're in middle school and first grade, and I tear up and then I need an aspirin and a nap!

Thursday, August 07, 2008 10:41:00 AM  

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