I glanced through my emails again. The one from the vice principal reminds me of the trials of middle school. My oldest daughter is forging her path. It doesn’t help that it’s her very first year in public school. She’s actually holding her own, in the classroom. But, I am finding my head shaking over and over. What is up with these boys?
She tells me her daily account of the interactions she has with that strange species of preteen/newbie teen boy. It’s a running account that has no stop or pause button from the time she gets home until she slips into bed (unless she’s singing, of course). And I am flummoxed. (Isn’t that a great word. Sounds like it’s straight out of Dr. Seuss.)
Oh this boy asked me out. And this boy asked me out. This boy was too shy so his friend did it for him. That boy sent me a note in class. Another boy wanted me to wear his jersey, his friend didn’t have one, so he asked me to wear his hat. (Eeeewwww?) We’ve had two contacts with the administration when two separate boys refused to respect her "no" for days on end.
And I want to know, what is going on? I ask her if she is being singled out and if so why. She said the boys are swarming because she’s the only one in her group that doesn’t have a boyfriend. This is middle school? Sigh.
We went to plant trees as a service project about a year and a half ago. They told us how you have to be careful not to place the stake too close to the tree or the trunk will not grow to its full strength. It will be susceptible to damage due to high winds and other stressers when it matures.
My daughter asked me about why we don’t want her to date. She figures it’d be so much easier on her social life if she just had a “boyfriend” to fight off the rest of the hungry wolves nipping her heels. And I reminded her of that service project. I shared with her that her identity is in a key growing stage. Friendships offer great support and are extremely valuable. Romantic relationships, on the other hand, are like the stake that is too close to the trunk. Her identity would not grow in strength if she constantly looks to a boyfriend for affirmation and acceptance.
I wish I was more convinced she got the lesson. But, I’m thankful the Lord offered us that experience in the his good timing so that I would feel confident when this trial crossed our path. Now, we just have to wait and see if she’ll learn the lesson of the tree.