It’s been a wild ride.
Yes, middle school has been all that and more – hormonal ups and downs, angry tirades and impatient ranting. Poor Molly.
It’s true. Adolescence has sometimes brought out the best and worst in me -- bringing me to my knees (literally) in ways I never thought possible. It has ruthlessly challenged my rigid, perfectionistic tendencies. It has relentlessly stretched my capacity for love, humility, courage and forgiveness.
I feel pity for the mom of a 5th grader that I was three years ago. She was so naïve and woefully unprepared. So, as an act of service for other mothers who may soon be entering the middle school years, I offer my Top Five Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before Molly Started Middle School:
1. Your child is now too cool for you. Think you got it goin’ on, mama? Well, think again. You see, it’s embarrassing to be seen with your parents, because, well, no one else has parents. Your child is the only one. So you can see how your existence is a tad bit humiliating – at least until they need money.
2. All your brain cells suddenly evaporate. Your decades of wisdom and life experience just can’t compete with their friends’ 12 years of knowledge and expertise. (Actually, in hindsight, I think they’re listening to us more than we give them credit for.)
3. Every promise you make is written in stone. Pre-teens and teens tend to see things in black and white. Circumstances don’t change. YOU are the one who changed things. Which makes you a big, fat liar.
4. You suddenly become a candidate for “What Not to Wear.” I have gotten enough fashion critiques in the last three years to last me a lifetime. (The plus side? I must admit, I’m no Heidi Klum, but she’s made me more hip.)
And best of all...
5. You’ll learn to love your child in a whole new way. The really valuable things in life are worth fighting for. Don’t believe everything they tell you – good or bad. And keep loving them and praying for them no matter what. After all, you’ll need all the prayers you can get, mama. They’ll be driving soon.