“So what do you do if you have a crush on a girl? You need to get her to like you…. Wait until middle school to try to get her to love you. Otherwise, you have to hold on to her for a long time and that would be very hard. Tip: Most boys in elementary school can hold on to a girl for only 30 days.”
—Alec Grevin, 9-year-old author of “How to Talk to Girls”
I’m a little freaked out about middle school. It doesn’t seem to matter that countless kids have started and finished middle school just fine, including me, at one point.
And even though I’ve known and witnessed the customs of many a middle-schooler, it’s been from a safe distance. There’s never been one sleeping across the hallway.
You’ve heard the saying, “Having kids is like letting your heart walk around outside your body”?
That must be the truest statement ever spoken.
And when they’re preparing to walk around brand new hallways, it’s even harder to drop their hand and let go. It’s only April. Can’t wait to see how I handle August.
Even worse, my oldest staring down middle school has completely overshadowed her little sister getting ready for kindergarten. Other parents have confirmed, it’s common to view kindergarten as a natural step with any child except the first one.
I can’t say I’ve been through it all with the first, because this little one likes to throw wild curveballs, but her upcoming transition into elementary school hasn’t caused the emotional turmoil you’d expect when the baby is no longer a baby.
Maybe I subconsciously know better. As any older sibling would verify with a roll of the eyes, the baby is always the baby. (Ask any of my seven older siblings, I bet my spoiled-brat butt they would agree.)
She’ll always be my baby. Or it could be that my mind is protecting me until the first day I drive her to school, when I have to let her out of the car as opposed to smuggling her back home to watch the Backyardigans.
Bottom line, this confusion is about my fear that one or both of my kids are going to get unintentionally gypped, deeply scarred, then refuse to friend me on Facebook.
Yeah, every so often.
I guess I need to focus on parenting rule No. 1. Or is it No. 80? “Be their parent, not their friend.” That rule stinks, because they still like me.
I’m not sure how I’ll handle the first dramatic, crying, sulking, end of the world pre-teen incident. I just hope I’m aware enough to notice it, because it would be so much worse to be oblivious to it.
For that matter, the same thing goes for the first “she said she’s not my friend” kindergarten-level drama.
I hope to get my own angst under control before the hormonal drama starts and before the age gap between these two sisters suddenly seems more drastic, so we can all focus.
Oh, and our female Labrador will soon turn 10, which I read is about the age that hormone-related urinary incontinence can set in with dogs. I’m already seeing the signs in her. Yes, female problems do cross species lines.
I remain hopeful that we’ll be OK. We’ll merge our girl power and help each other through.
But Lord help the lone man in this household.