I don’t know what it was about Luke’s friend group that made them seem more like small adults than pre-teens in middle school. Half of them didn’t even have armpit hair lol, but they just seemed so dang worldly that you couldn’t help but treat them more like peers than as someone to parent. The lads were quick witted and smart and talking about things I certainly didn’t know anything about in sixth grade. It was definitely like watching a group of college friends horsing around and my mind just stayed with that image. Thirteen Going on Thirty.
In sixth grade this group was definitely not what we teachers would classify as *young*. They were constantly talking about girls and I remember stumbling into a conversation one day where they were calling one of the boys a *player*. How the heck did they even know what that was? And how is one a player in SIXTH GRADE for Pete’s sake?! But after hearing the escapades of said young man it turned out the label was, well, accurate. lol The *who is dating who* scene was a hot topic and everyone wanted to be attached and wanted to experiment. I didn’t think one needed a first kiss till high school. Boy, was I wrong.
Speaking of experiment… I am not sure what else these kiddos were up to that maybe they shouldn’t have been. I don’t want to sound naïve, lol, but I am pretty sure middle school is when some of the kids started smoking – cigarettes and otherwise. I am also aware of the stories that circulated about alcohol at school dances. And I already mentioned the male-female interactions. Truth is friends, Middle school is that stage, developmentally, where kids start pushing boundaries and trying on different personas to see which one fits. They want to try things to fit in; they want to try things to be different and edgy; they want to try things to piss off their parents. lol What I also know is middle school is the beginning of that stage in life where FRIENDS have way more merit and influence and importance than PARENTS. Heaven help us.
So here’s what I need you to know: My good friend, Heather LeMay gave me the best advice when all the antics started in sixth grade.
“Patty, ” she said, “They all swear and they all lie. Don’t forget it. “
Lol I didn’t and you shouldn’t. So was Luke swearing on the school bus? Definitely. Was Luke saying he was headed to Jeff’s house and actually hanging out with girls in somebody’s basement? Probably. But we rolled with it. If Logan had done these things I would have been mortified and concerned. He was so little in sixth grade. But for Luke and his crew? It just seemed like the expected behavior. Looking back, these were really good kids just having a really good time. And where is the harm in that? One more thing- if you Think you should maybe have a conversation with your child about sex, or drugs, or alcohol you are already too late. lol Your child was thinking about it six months ago. So be proactive. Keep the communication open. And as much as they might try and act like adults most days, middle schoolers still need a mom and dad, and your LOVE every day. Their words might say they hate it, but their heart would tell you otherwise. Xxx