Monday, I went on a field trip with my oldest son.
It has been 4 years since I've been able to go on a field trip with him, and believe me friends, when your teenager tells you he wants you to go on a field trip with him, and you are able to go, you go. Can't be too many more opportunities for that kind of thing on the way. I mean, do they even go on field trips in high school?
I have a confession to make. Middle schoolers kind of intimidate me. OK, middle schoolers do more than "kind of" intimidate me. They're hormone-crazed. And have poor impulse control. And many of them are bigger than me. And they're loud. And terribly judgmental. I mean, they're OK in small groups, but middle schoolers on a large scale? No need for Halloween scariness--teenagers are scary enough.
So I was kind of scared. I didn't really want to go. I mean, I wanted to go, because I wanted to spend time with my baby and support his education and all that, but the middle schoolers! They were going to be there, too. In large quantities. The last time I spent any time with that group, I was thankful to get out alive. Seriously. It was touch and go there for a while--my survival was in doubt.
But I summoned my courage and bright and early AKD and I set off for school together.
There were hoards of 8th graders everywhere: a huge mass of perpetually moving teenagers with hormone-drenched brains, who kept talking louder and louder, as far as the eye could see. I felt such compassion for those poor souls who were just trying to have a nice picnic lunch with their loved ones at the beach. Imagine trying to carve out a peaceful patch of real estate on which to picnic with more than 400 8th graders milling about.
I had a great time, and learned some stuff, too, amazingly enough. I'm so glad I didn't let my fears determine my path on this day. And guess what! Those scary teenagers were actually pretty good kids. Loud...hormone-crazed...impulsive...good...kids, just trying to figure out who they're going to be in this world, just wanting to be valued and loved.
And no, I am not going to run out and get my teaching license so I can hang with middle schoolers All. The. Times. Baby steps, people.