Ever wish that you could go to bed...and then wake up, wearing really cool Thundercat pajamas, (that your friends would NEVER know about), looking up at the ceiling in the bedroom you grew up in? The one that you stared at night and found patterns in the random texturing? There's that donkey and that strange looking old man that sometimes looks like a rabbit, depending on the angle? And maybe a few of those glow in the dark stars that really didn't glow all that well at all. That familiar bedspread all wrapped around you? Your alarm goes off, and you get up eagerly, because you're in eighth grade and you get to see your "crush" during math class and pass notes back and forth: the one's that say, "Do you like me? Check yes or no". Or if it was true love, they were more along the lines of "I can't stand you." "Or you're such a dork." Now it's "sexting".
You worried about fractions and reading tests, not whether or not you were going to be able to make the car payment, or if the over-time you were putting in at work was going to affect your child's development. You stressed over the fight you just had with your best friend. You didn't fret obsessively over the safety of your children.You didn't assume that every man was a pedophile.
Ever wish that?
Yeah. Me, too. Thirteen was hard, but being a parent is harder.
My mom made my brother and I breakfast and it was always waiting for us when we made it to the table. She gave us Flinstone vitamins (that I hid in my dresser drawer) and she made us lunch (which also usually ended up in my dresser drawer. And yes...my room may have had a certain...stench.) She did our laundry, made dinner... And I didn't worry. I was safe and while I may have been convinced that I hated my parents, I knew they were there for me, no matter what. I knew I was lucky, because I had friends that didn't have that kind of support system. I was innocent. Someone once told me that I needed my eyebrows waxed and I didn't even know that meant. Hand holding was the pinnacle of love.. and I had my first kiss that year and quite frankly, the "French kissing" part didn't impress me. I think it may have been because it involved food. But today, eighth graders are getting pregnant and having oral sex in the boy's bathrooms. I didn't even know what that was. Oral? I assumed it had something to do with talking. Oral reports were something I would ditch school to avoid. Why would I give one in the boy's bathroom? I wasn't even allowed to go in there.
Growing up isn't as fun as it was supposed to be. Someone lied. And I'd like to have a word with them.
I wonder what will be standard when my children are in eighth grade? I have the feeling the days of innocent notes and searching the Valentine hearts for secret messages will be over. Will strong parenting override the all-powerful peer pressure, or create an even stronger sense of rebellion? What about drugs? Drinking? I'm not naive and I know this stuff is coming up sooner and sooner and I just hope that my feeble attempts at parenting will be enough to make my kids stop and think before making any decisions that have life changing potential. And I hope they make good decisions.