Thursday, June 9, 2016
Mom of the Middle
Navigating my way through the middle school years can be tricky. I've done it...twice before. Three times, if you count my own awkward phase. But somewhere between the older boys and Sam, a new generation evolved and brought with it its own set of circumstances. Texting, YouTube, FaceBook, Snapchat, Instagram.
And still, some things remain the same.
Peer pressure. Boy-girl dynamics. Figuring out if you belong with the jocks or the bandos, the emos or the nerds, the quirky artists or the quirky science geeks. Figuring out that there really isn't one category that accurately describes the essence of you.
As parents, we try to keep ourselves in that zone of comfort where we offer freedom within safe boundaries. Yes, you can bike to the neighborhood pool to meet your friends. No, you cannot bike at night. Yes, you can stay up late once in a while. No, you cannot skip church because you stayed up too late. Yes, you can eat Pringles. No, you cannot eat a can of Pringles in place of a meal.
Sometimes, we feel like we're doing this middle school thing successfully. And sometimes, we feel like utter failures.
Last night, I took Sam and a friend to meet a YouTube sensation. We stood in line, we bought the book, we got the signature and the ten second meet and greet.
I made the thirty minute drive without getting even a little bit lost. And at the end of the evening, we celebrated our success with Frappucinos and lattes.
I will have days in the future when I screw up. I will say the wrong thing, or react in the wrong way. I will offer too little supervision, or too much. I will be too strict or too lenient. There will be tears and apologies, punishment and pain. But overall, there will be love. Love covers a multitude of sins. And for this reason, I will not be afraid. I may have a few sleepless nights yet to come, but last night was not one of them. And a photo of a smiling Sam tells me "You got it right, today, girlfriend. Keep up the good work!"