Tag Archives: preteens

Growing Pains

In three weeks, my son will begin his first year of middle school. He’s looking forward to it, and I wish I could say that I am too. But I’m terrified. Every time we pass by the school he’ll be attending, I notice how… big it looks. I hadn’t noticed it last year. It was just the middle school; it didn’t have anything to do with me. Denial?

The kids I’ve seen coming and going from the campus look so grown up compared to my son, but maybe that’s just my perspective. Am I still seeing a baby where other people see a developing preteen? Probably.

I actually had to buy him some Oxy Daily Wash and spot treatment. Not that he doesn’t have beautiful skin, but he was starting to get a few blemishes and wanted to nip it in the bud. Good for him! But it was just another reminder of how fast he’s growing up. It seems like we went from buying training pants to acne medicine in the blink of an eye.

The thing that I’m worried most about is transportation to and from school.

Last year, he rode the school bus, which picked him up right at the corner of our block. I could watch from the window as he boarded the bus. After that, I knew he was OK. If anything happened, I would be notified right away. This year, though, he can’t ride the school bus because the middle school is less than a mile from our house. Since I don’t have a car, he can either ride the city bus, which he can catch just around the corner, or walk.

I want him to ride the bus. He wants to walk. That scares the shit out of me!

The street he would have to walk down is quite busy, but there’s sidewalk (pavement for you Brits!) all the way, and no major streets to cross. His friend who lives across the street is one year ahead of him, so he attended the same middle school last year and started walking it about half way through the year. They could walk together, and they’ll probably be just fine. I’m just… not ready for this.

These growing pains are killing me. Don’t they have a pill for this yet? Or was that Valium?

But I have to let go a little at a time. He’s been walking alone to nearby shops for nearly a year now. The school isn’t much farther away. It’s exactly 0.92 miles or 1.48 kilometers (yes, I mapped it). He’s shown himself to be responsible and trustworthy and I suppose it’s about time.

At least he’ll get the cell phones he’s been begging for, because he sure as shit won’t be walking that road without one!

Damn it!


One Fine Boy

My son, who I’ll call John, will be starting middle school in August. He’s going through all the normal changes that boys his age experience, and things aren’t always easy. Sometimes I feel like I could run screaming from the house, ripping my hair out. But for the most part, John is a great kid.

We went grocery shopping today. John was a few steps behind me as we strolled through the aisles. I was just about to turn a corner when I heard him say, “Here, let me help you with that.”

I turned around just in time to see John lifting a case of sodas into an elderly woman’s shopping cart. At that precise moment, another woman of about the same age approached the same section, and appeared to be considering her selection. John stood back and waited until she had decided, then he helped her too.

The two ladies smiled at each other and appeared to be pleasantly surprised. They thanked John and called him a “fine boy”.

This sort of thing is not out of the ordinary for John. He really is a good kid and I’m proud to be his mom. As he continues to develop and grow, things will continue to change between us; it’s just part of the natural progression into manhood. Some days will be more difficult than others, and sometimes I may feel like I don’t know my son at all. Then I’ll remember days like this.

What John did couldn’t have been planned. He simply saw someone in need of help and offered assistance without hesitation. He didn’t need to be asked and he didn’t want or expect anything in return. That is part of who John is. And it’s no small part.

He really is one fine boy!