Middle schoolers. Pre-adolescents. Jr. highers.
Whatever you want to call them. They are a rare breed.
The crazy thing about middle schoolers (well, of course we all know there is more than one crazy thing) is that the range of heights and developmental stages is so wide among them. The group Taido works with ranges from 6th to 8th grade…11-14. In fact, some of the incoming students are still just 10. Some kids have hit puberty and others are still just squirrelly little kids. The ones that have already gone through some body changes are trying to cover up the fact that their minds and hearts haven’t quite caught up.
I love to watch the middle schoolers at the neighborhood pool. The antics. The horseplay. the showing off. The screaming to get a boy’s attention. It is good stuff.
I really started to watch them last summer. They used to just annoy me, but as my kids approach (very fast, coming very soon, breathe slowly) becoming actual middle schoolers, I am much more interested in what these kids are doing.
This has been a trend for me in parenting. as a mother of toddlers, I couldn’t figure out why bigger school-aged children were permitted to roam free at the park, cutting my little ones off on the slide or barreling down the slide and knocking into my wobbly kneed babies. then, when my kids reached that age or even began to come closer to that age, I sat on the park bench with my book and hoped that that toddler’s mom was watching her baby, because, well, you know…now my kids were old enough that i didn’t have to walk behind them as they climb the equipment. So now, approaching middle school, I no longer go to the pool at 10am to avoid the kids who sleep until noon. (Also, Simon is napping at that time.) I am there at 1pm for the show. Here we go.
Yesterday, I was at the pool and I actually had a middle schooler in tow. A fresh out of elementary school, headed for summer camp this weekend, very cool Tony Hall. (third son of my friend, Donna.
Tony caused quite a stir among a group of equally fresh out of elementary school gals. There was much discussion of his presence, which I overheard from behind my book. (Another great thing about middle schoolers…high school students are a little more savvy about this…is that they don’t pay attention to who is listening, especially adults.) After their discussion, there was much prancing around the pool in the area of Tony and other completely oblivious boys. Then the gals made a great scene complete with excessive screaming about a moth. Alas, it was all for not. They haven’t yet learned that subtle-or even not so subtle-attempts to get the attention of boys who are busy about their play (a very intense water football/wrestling match was the play of the day) are absolutely futile.
Hysterical conversation on the way home in the car:
Tony: my brother was shocked to find out that t-shirts are going to cost $20 at silver dollar city! I mean it’s silver dollar city. they have to charge $20.
Me: Well, $20 is kind of high for a t-shirt. are you going to get one?
Tony: Oh no, I have plenty of t-shirts. and you can get t-shirts at target for like $7.99.
Cole: But it’s silver dollar city. things just have to be expensive because it’s famous, you know, like Alltel arena.
This doesn’t look that funny in print, but it was hiiiilarious to me yesterday, mostly because Cole has never been to Silver Dollar City and hasn’t the faintest idea what he is talking about. He’s just joining in the conversation, pretending that he knows it all. Sooo…he’s pretty much got the middle schooler thing down.