Lessons From A Middle School Graduate (Well, His Mom)

First of all, you should know right now that my 8th grade-graduate, 5'10", so-confident-he-rocked-a-mullet-for-a-whole-week son would disown me if he knew he was the inspiration behind this blog post, but sometimes we need to enter the blogosphere where worries and fears, phases and stages are pondered, if nothing more than to let someone else know they're not alone. So this post is brought to you for the greater good.

Today, my son completed middle school. He has been immensely blessed to have his dad at school and a network of really great people in his life during these sometimes tough years. And he been really lucky to learn some good/hard life lessons. Like, when he said something about a friend behind his back and the friend called him out on it, he had to own it and make amends. And guess what, that person forgave my son and he learned about how jealousy can make you act like the worst version of yourself. (Even grown ups can relate, right?)

There was also the first crush and break-up on Valentine's Day. (My heart still aches for him even years later; I may even imagine giving stink-eye to the heart-breaker if I ever passed her on the street. Kidding not kidding.) But eventually, after lots of painful pacing and head-shaking, he TALKED to us about it and discovered that letting something out is the only way to let the healing in.

Here are some other things he learned over these three, very important, very impactful years:

When you don't read the book and just read the spark notes, you don't know enough = Half-assing your way through life won't lead to success.

When you commit to a group project and your partner doesn't do his/her part, your grade will suffer = Pick wisely. Also, be a good partner.

When you hear someone talk about wanting to end the pain, you aren't supposed to keep THAT secret = Listening and acting saves lives and saves you from lifelong regret.

When you put something out on social media and you instantly regret it, tough S@#! = Think before you post. Always. Life is full of consequences.

When you're with friends and someone decides to do something dumb, you don't have to do that dumb thing too = You are NOT a victim. You make choices. And don't pressure someone to do that dumb thing if it's you're idea. But TRY not to do dumb things.

Feel free to use this example with your children in whichever way it will support your conversations about peer pressure, good choices, consequences of one's actions and crack! If your kids know my kids, please leave names out. I don't know what I'd do if my children made me stop writing about them...they provide the BEST material.


Holly and Jenn

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