Because I had three kids in thirty-five months, there is one month a year when my older kids' ages line up like steps. Right now, Eliza, Shea and Jonah are, 12,11 and 10. It is as crazy as it sounds around here. I don't really know how to say this, but, life with tween kids is actually a total nightmare. Remember how miserable it was to be in middle school? Okay, picture going through middle school all over again, except this time you are totally paralyzed, and helpless. And that's the best way for me to describe what it feels like to be a mother of a middle-schooler. It is absolutely gut wrenching. And I'm in the car every day from 4-8. (That's not really relevant, I am just on a roll with the complaining.)
I don't remember much of middle school, that's by choice. But I remember that in high school I was awesome, all the time. And totally funny. Like double over gut busting hilarious. That is a totally accurate statement. From my point of view at least. I don't remember being mean, I don't remember being particularly nice either, but that's beside the point. Then a few years ago, my bff came into contact with someone I knew in high school. I had a couple of classes with this person, and though we never hung out, I would have considered us friends. But when this person met my bff, she said, "You are such a nice person, I can't picture you being friends with Angela." What? Maybe I wasn't as great as I thought I was. Or maybe if you aren't paying attention to the people around you, it doesn't matter how awesome you are. Shame on me. I don't remember doing anything mean to anyone. But I don't really remember looking around me to try to be a good friend either. And it wasn't as if I didn't have good examples. I was surrounded by people who were kind and loyal. I am embarrassed that I never paid it forward.
Since then, I have made it my mission in life, to have kids who turn out better than me. I try to tell them as often as I can, "Find someone who looks like they could use a friend." and "There is always someone lonelier than you. Find that person." I don't know if I'm getting through. And when you have kids who are lonely and hurting, that can be tough advice to give. But that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Isn't this a nice heartwarming post? Well, I was looking through some photos of last year and I stumbled onto a screen shot I took on Halloween of a ridiculous convo (that's what these youths are calling conversations these days) between Eliza's friends on insta. Forget everything I just said. I have no idea what I'm doing or how to raise kids in this social media age.
And by the way, our neighborhood is no place for a child on Halloween. First, the all the parents meet at someones house for wine and pizza and they get totally wasted, then they all rent golf carts and drive their kids around to trick-or-treat. You wouldn't want them burning any candy calories. And to finish the night, they wrap things up at another house, where there is a big bonfire, and more drinking. Alcohol, motorized vehicles, children, fire. It is magical.