All the kids looked so old. And they all seemed to be chomping on gum. A couple were staring at phones, their fingers flying against the screen.
I did not like it.
I preferred the elementary school where everyone still looked small and where there were cheerful posters on the walls with cartoon bees reminding everyone to “bee” kind. The posters on middle school walls talked about joining the cheer team. I missed the cartoon posters.
Tommy had his Open House at the middle school the other day and I got to see where all his classes were. They actually rang the bell and you got to move from class to class. I have not done this in years so when the bell went off, it sent me in a we-can’t-be-late-for-the-next-class frenzy.
By the fourth class, Natalie was beginning to look concerned. “Mommy,” she whispered. “There are no toys in any of these classrooms!”
“That’s because I’m growing up,” Tommy answered. “I’m a tween now.”
In sixth grade, he’s expected to write a monthly book report. This is going to be difficult, as Tommy hates to write and when he does, he’s like a man and is brief and to the point. “I liked it. It was good. I would read it again. The end.”
By the fifth class, Natalie was beginning to get agitated. “How many rooms do we have to visit? This is ridiculous!”
“This is my day,” Tommy responded primly.
When we were done seeing all the classrooms, Tommy wanted to show me how he could open his locker. He struggles with fine motor skills so it took him a few tries to figure it out. But I watched as he chewed on his lower lip and spun the lock around and then….
“I did it!” Tommy said triumphantly.
“Yay, Tommy!” Natalie stuck her head in the locker. “It smells in here. Where are all your things?”
It was completely empty because Tommy still doesn’t want to mess with it. He’s like me and HATES to be late so he’d rather go from class to class. So he lugs everything in his backpack.
I’m glad he’s doing well in middle school but it still petrifies me.
I still picture him like this: