Monday my middle schooler had the day off from school. He watched “The Magic School Bus,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” He cleaned his room. He made his own lunch. He snap chatted that lunch. He played with the dog. He did his homework. He made a mess in his room.
Middle schoolers are a much maligned population. They are awkward and often unattractive. Middle school kids are frequently sexually inappropriate. They still like bathroom humor. Their hormones rage; their mouths operate before their brains have booted up. Organization? Forget about it. Tidiness? Rare. Good ideas? Maybe once a year.
But, here’s the beautiful thing about middle school kids: yes, they are at an in between age, and that in between age is actually quite beautiful and balanced.
They can watch cartoons as easily as a documentary about water access in Africa. They can make food as easily as they can order out. They can be silly and serious. My son can still rock some Legos just as easily as the latest Xbox game. Tweens and early teens can eloquently discuss both presidential politics and the possibility of the existence of magic. Although middle schoolers are best friends one day and enemies the next, those best friend days are fierce; and, they roll around way more often than the enemy days. These kids have no guilt about all-day TV or three bags of microwave popcorn, but they also eat vegetables willingly. Middle schoolers will argue their throats raw, and then snuggle with you on the couch.
Middle schoolers have not yet forgotten the freedom of childhood, and they have only an inkling of the responsibility of adulthood. It’s a great place to be, really.
When we are too busy being grown-up (you know, paying bills, getting the car serviced, planning healthful meals), it is easy to forget to have fun. Seriousness is not all it’s cracked up to be. So, when life gets too grim, we might all do well to spend time embracing our inner middle schooler. Watch cartoons; eat too much sugar; be caring; snapchat your breakfast; and, make gross jokes.
It’s actually a fun place to visit – and, you don’t have to live there.