Thing 1

I was getting my heart ripped out of my chest and put through a cheese shredder

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?

18 thoughts on “I was getting my heart ripped out of my chest and put through a cheese shredder”

  1. I would say…. not good. I know how you feel, though. I have one going into sixth grade this year too and she is scared to death. Last year, at our middle school, her older sister caught someone smoking pot on the bus, there was a stabbing, three kids arrested during the year for abuse on the bus, bomb threats, and lockdowns. I don’t know how I’m going to survive getting all these kids raised.

  2. GOD, I hate middle school. I wouldn’t have even thought about those things either. The three years I was there were the most miserable years socially of my entire life. I pray that LilZ gets through it with his sense of self intact. The good news is he’s had a great upbringing so far and if anyone can deal with what those vipers can dish out, it’s probably him. 🙂

  3. Lord girl, That’s some heavy thoughts. I’ve been there and it’s hard but the best thing is he has a great Mom who’s going to get him through it all wether he likes it or not! It’s such a crazy age; one minute their to cool to look your way and the next they want to snuggle like a baby.

  4. Wow…I never thought about the whole cameras-in-phones issue in schools (though the gym I belonged to had an anti-cell phone policy for that reason). The school that I taught at actually didn’t allow them on the property at all, so I’m rather shocked that they let them keep phones in their lockers at all, off or not. We had a lot of issues with theft of phones from kids who did bring them in. As a result, the policy became such that if parents needed their kids to have a phone for a specific reason, they were turned in each morning to the principal and kept in his safe then returned at dismissal.

  5. I saw a Dateline special or something like that on the computer thing. Kids getting others to say stuff on the computer and then printing it out (sometimes changing stuff) and then making the kid’s life a living hell.

    Some kids actually had to change schools because of it!

    Oh and they set up WEBSITES devoted to making fun of kids. (I think I saw that one on a Lifetime movie, but it still totally happens right!!!??!!)

  6. Middle school was bad for me, even before there were those scary technology considerations. I never have even considered what it’s like now. (shudders)

    But of all the young men I have met in the last few years, LilZ seems like he has such a great head on his shoulders. As a mom myself, I know that won’t alleviate the very real need to go and walk behind him and protect (I feel that so much with my girls) — but just wanted to give you that perspective, if it helps.

  7. Try this: My baby girl, who was basically LilZ JUST YESTERDAY, is starting 6th, and my baby boy starts freakin’ HIGH SCHOOL next week.

    I’m going to vomit now.

  8. My oldest son is going into 6th grade also, and it MAKES ME ILL. I just want him to stop with the growing for awhile, please.

    It was so nice meeting you and your adorable children at blogher.

  9. Today was the first day of school in Tampa – My oldest started 6, and my “baby” started K. I also have a 4th grader, and a 2nd grader. Time flies so quickly, I was in tears most of the day! I totally know how you feel – I keep trying to joke and beg them to stop growing up, somehow begging never helps. GOOD LUCK ! I agree with the others, tho, you have provided a great foundation for him, and you should be proud!

  10. Our kids start Jr. High in 7th grade here. Thank goodness. I have 2 years to go, and I’m scared. So very scared.

    Hey, atleast LilZ will be armed with the best pens.

  11. With you as his mom, and armed with what you have taught him over the years, he will do great. Mine will be in 7th (gulp) this year. I had the exact same feelings as you did when she started middle school. Truth be told, when I look back now, “I” had a harder time of it than she did. Hang in there!!!!

  12. My nieces school has had issues with the internet thing too. A friend of hers got in a “fight” on myspace with another friend… next thing you know the one girl had printed it out and got the other girl suspended.

  13. I feel your pain.

    Mr. Motorcycle had to shave Gameboy’s baby face for him because long, dark, scragly looking hairs were growing out of his chin. Do you think I should’ve written it down in the baby book? I’m so mad with them for doing it behind my back now I have no photographic evidence of it for the baby book. GAH!

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