Somehow, I have become the mother to a sixth grader. A sixth grader. As in, the first grade of middle school, which just had orientation today. An orientation at which I teared up no less than half a dozen times. Because my son? He is growing up. And every time I ask him to stop with that, he just laughs at me like it’s some kind of joke. IT’S NOT A JOKE. Stop with the aging already.
There were a few things the principal and counselor discussed that I hadn’t considered being issues with LilZ at middle school. The first of which? They said there would be no use of cell phones at all. And do you know why? Because they had problems with kids pulling pranks by snapping photos of each other dressing out for P.E. I had never even considered that as a possible down-side to allowing kids to take their cell phones to school. So, the rule? They are allowed to be turned off and in the locker, that’s it. This keeps our children from having to worry about pictures being passed around school of them in their skivvies. Which, jeezus, like there isn’t enough to worry about during puberty.
The other one was that many kids will send emails or us IM to chat about who they have a crush on, or what kids they hate, and then other kids with print those emails or IMs and spread them around school as a prank. The counselor was simply warning the kids, “If you have secrets to tell? You might be better off using your words instead of your computer.”
So – my son is growing up. He must now worry about people using his secrets against him or breaking his heart. Or – he must worry about people taking advantage of him being vulnerable for the sake of their own entertainment. Either way – he is now entering a world where I can’t protect him all the time. Dammit.
Unless…I follow him around everywhere and yell at people who are mean to him. How do you think that would go over?