Tuesday

What Would You Say?


Having middle school children certainly throws you back into that horrible age yourself, whether you want to go or not. Recently several things have come up that have caused me to reflect on that time, and who I was then vs. who I am now.
One was the reunion where I spoke last weekend. Many pictures, many friends, many memories of days gone by. Most of them fun and funny, some of them dredging up the old feelings of 'not (tall/thin/short/developed/rich/smart/giggly/curly/whatever) enough' that we all felt in middle school.

Then I returned to some girl drama of Ashley's. Let me say -- Ashley doesn't instigate OR tolerate girl drama well, if at all. So it is rare to have any of it at this house. But something cropped up that she and I discussed and other folk were fanning into flame. I confess that I was angry enough that I wanted to go dump some gasoline on the flame and set off an explosion and Jesus won out by a hair when he took control of my actions and kept me from doing that.

Then there was Revolve, surrounded by thousands of girls, primarily of that age group. The giggles, the posing, the way the young ladies spoke to them of the struggles of that age, reminding me of that season of life.

I am so thankful it is over, yet I suppose I must be thankful for the journey if for no other reason than to empathize with all other young people at that awkward stage of life.

I wondered today -- IF I would have listened to 40-year-old me, what would I have told myself to get through that season? I still am not really sure. I think besides imploring myself to exercise to try to steady out the hormones, it may have been something along the lines of: "It just isn't that big of a deal. None of it. Ten years from now, this won't even be a blip in your memory. Stop making such a big deal about it."

What about you? If the now you could tell the middle school you something that you may actually listen to, what would it be? I may need to pass it along to someone.

4 comments:

dad said...

One thing I would want my 13-year old self to know is why puberty is the way it is, and that it won't last forever. That was a truly weird time, and I didn't even understand why.

Another would be that God loves me pretty much the way I am, and my friends will just have to learn to do so, too.

Be kind to my parents - they're learning their way through this, too.

Any cigarette smoked in the next few years will come back and bite me 50 years from now.

How much space ya got?

Roxanne said...

Hmmmmm. . .be nicer to your brother. He is just as confused and scared and lost and hormonal as you are, and you two are all you've got. Plus you will recall later, in great detail, the times you were unkind to him and you just can't take 'em back.

Develop good study habits. Just because you're smart enough to "get by" doesn't mean you'll always be able to.

You are not fat. You hang around with girls that weigh 75 pounds dripping wet and are a foot shorter than you. You will someday look at photos and realize that you were fine.

All the pain you are having now--the uncertainty--the doubts, those will mature into wisdom, so pay attention and hold on.

ste-pha-nie said...

I like what dad said: "Be kind to my parents - they're learning their way through this, too." I find myself telling my boys this from time to time, along the lines of, we as parents have been there done that, but that doesn't mean we have the answers all the time. Some things you have to figure out on your own.

I also remind them them that oftentimes if their peers taunt or make fun, are probably not feeling that great about themselves.

I also would have told my then-me to get more exercise, and not to be afraid to sweat! Exercise/physical activity is a bigtime cure-all.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how to get it across to a 13-year old, but you are better at doing those things -- I would try to help them to see the value of reputation, that it is worth more than all the money they will ever make in a lifetime, that a foolish moment can damage it, and that when you do or say something that could damage someone else's reputation, you also damage your own.

 
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