High school redo
Two of my three kids are in high school or middle school, and after a few days back, we talked about their classes, and their classmates.
Naturally lots of conversation ensued.
A few days in, they have met and seen most of their grade. They had feedback, they had jokes, they had chatter from their classmates.
Looking back with my newly minted twenty years of experience since high school, I had a barrage of advice after the first few classes.
I’m not the first, or the last mom to make this request of her children. But, like everything in Momdom, it required further explanation.
That big girl uncomfortably fitting herself into the desk in your class? She’s aware of how that looks. But you aren’t aware how that feels. Until you’ve been the most uncomfortable person in the room you don’t get to make any judgement. She knows everyone sees, she wishes someone would see her for more than that desk. Be kind when she thinks you won’t be. Prove her wrong.
He knows you think he’s weird. He thinks he’s weird. He’s hoped for years no one would say anything, but every year he hears how weird he is come laughing out of your classmates mouths. This year- help him realize he’s not weird, he’s just a bit smarter than everyone around him. Be kind when it’s easy to be mean. Prove him wrong.
No kids are immune from the preteen or teenage self-consciousness that can be debilitating.
My two older kids aren’t immune to the crap kids put each other through, and it’s impossible and it’s a right of passage.
But I can see already that my two oldest are not overcoming obstacles traditionally thought that “other” or “outside”.
But, our youngest is.
He’s going to forever be staunchly in the “he’s not adhering to traditional norms”, but also equally comfortable in the camp that does not “give a shit”. He is comfortable in this role. He is supported in this role.
But, piles of kids aren’t.
I guess I just ask moms and dads right now to bring it home to your kids honestly about what we all went through during middle and high school. Now, we are just seasoned veterans, the parents who just didn’t feel like there was a lot of value in sharing our kind of weird, kind of outcast, kind of normal experiences.
But, be honest. So few of us were the cool kids.
It’s not “be nice”, it’s more “here’s how I felt when I worried I was the biggest girl in the room (but ironically skinnier than I am now)”.
We all remember the shitty things we saw, the shitty things we said and did, and the shitty things that keep us up as adults because now that we know better, we wish we did better.
Let’s make a few kids happy to be back at school, especially if they aren’t ours. Here’s to righting the wrongs the meet us in the middle of the night.
Prove them wrong, because sometimes we didn’t.