Thursday, September 22, 2005
My alarm went off at 5:21 am this morning (I don't believe in setting it at regular, even numbers...if you're going to have to get out of bed, you might as well try and make it fun. 5:21. ooh!). I threw on my quasi J-lo like velour jumpsuit from Old Navs and drove down to Auburn for Campaigners. There at the handicapped table at Starbucks sat leaders Christy, Emily and myself, and then the cutest 8th graders EVER: T, M, N and S, we'll call them. In having them do the "highs" and "lows" of the week with sugar packets (holding the Sweet n LOW...what was your low of the week? Holding the EQUAL, what was your EQUALly amazing high of the week?), I loved M's response: "Mmmm....my week was pretty good. I mean, it was good. Yeah, I mean PE is just hard. But it's good. Hey look! (punch) Slug bug orange! So I mean I just didn't have a partner and I was going to have to be with the teacher...but yeah, well, now we're playing football so you don't have to be partners! And I'm really good at it! So yeah, I like PE now. I like football. But yeah. Yeah....." I LOVE IT.
Mr. Sanchez, my counselor in middle school, once told me that the decisions kids make in middle school will affect them the rest of their lives. I'm seeing the truth in that statement. I look at these girls and my heart is tender towards them; they wear their hearts on their sleeves. (It was AWESOME meeting "S" for the first time this morning and then watching her cry as I asked her to tell us all her favorite verse out of the passage we read. Super. Sarcasm there. I MADE HER CRY IN THE MIDDLE OF STARBUCKS! Who am I?!) Middle schoolers are all about identity....they just want to know WHO THEY ARE. They're equally egocentric. They think the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side. I was reading in a book the other day that toddlers and 12 year olds are quite comparable: they want to be babied, but they desire independence. They're defiant. They fight back. But not too many people write books on the "terrible twelves." They're changing at SUCH a rapid rate, that it can actually HURT for them to sit still for more than 15 minutes. The stuff I'm reading is amazing....of course (and I'm sure my parents can attest to this:), I never went through that stage. They're (mom and dad) the ones who got meaner and more strict and were all of the sudden "so different." Not me. :)
It's good to know that I'm right where I'm supposed to be. After Campaigners (which is like a small group for kids who just want to dig a little deeper...), I drove the girls to school, and indeed, with finger puppets on hands and the pig-snout hat I "borrowed" from Frontier Ranch, we drove to school, dancing in the car. It was awesome. I still felt bad that I made "S" cry, but she gave me a hug when we parted, and I assume that's a good sign. Good times. I'm lovin' it.