We’ve got like, two weeks until Tiny Ninja officially becomes a middle school hooligan.

Two weeks.

I don’t know about him, but I am terrified. I’m terrified in that please-don’t-bully-my-baby-and-make-him-a-sniveling-mess-like-I-was kind of way.

Middle school can be a tough place, man. I know this personally. Kinda like jail. You can’t show fear or be different or stand out IN ANY WAY. Or you’ll be EATEN ALIVE.

Which is why my own life was “challenging” in junior high.

Why? Let’s see…

  • My family didn’t have a lot of money. Meaning, I had old, hand me down clothing from my aunts to wear. (You read that right. My aunts.) In my middle school, the nerds were separated from the cool kids pretty quickly by sight. Either you wore Polo shirts or you didn’t. You either shopped at Express or Kmart. If you shopped at Express you were immediately at a higher social level then the rest of the crew. I didn’t even shop at Kmart. I shopped in my Aunt Donna’s closet. Made me stand out… just a bit.
  • I was one of the first to get boobs. When you are 12 and hoping to blend into the wallpaper, boobs are not your best friend. Boys kinda notice and, um, stare. I’ll never forget Shawn G. telling his friends that I had “a great bod but and ugly face.” Yeah. That will build up a middle school gal’s confidence. I hid under sweaters for years. (Notice that I still remember that remark?)
  • My mom made me play in the hand bell choir. Enough said.

My son is a naive sweet little guy. School is harder for him then most. I’m just hoping life is kind and he finds his way through the middle school maze a little easier than his mom did and … that he stays the hell away from bell choir.

So, does anyone out there have any advice for me?

BTW – If your child is in a similar stage of life, and you have similar worries, you may find these articles helpful: