Too old to run wild on the playground anymore. Too young to drive a car. Barely out of elementary school, yet charged with hormones and all sorts of grown-up feelings. They are stuck in between, and they’re often carrying more adultish worries than we think.
Middle school is a strange place to be. Remember to be gentle with those middle school babies.
They can be sassy, I know. Especially that one who reminds you of yourself at that age, hands on hips, eyes rolling to the sky. Always with that tone. It can be easy to lose your cool. They think they know everything, but they don’t seem to know that they were babies just a minute ago, wearing footie pajamas with drool running down their chins. And they really don’t know what it’s like to be an adult yet — the pressures they will face. The challenges and disappointments they will hurdle.
They can pretend that they’re grown-ups, and they can try your patience to the max, but be gentle with those middle school babies.
They are carrying so many heartaches and anxieties, all while trying to look tough and be cool. What if no one wants to be friends this year? What if an executive decision is made to exclude them from their usual lunch table? What if an unfortunate, embarrassing moment is caught on video and published on social media? Here they are, fresh out of the primary grades, dealing with all of these very teenagerly concerns. When they come home from school in a mood, and they stomp up the stairs and slam their bedroom door for what seems like no reason, just remember.
Be gentle with those middle school babies.
All day long, they are instructed to sit still and be quiet. They aren’t given any time to play outside anymore. Torn between constructing sets of LEGOS or making TikTok videos, they don’t always know where they fit in. They long to break free and be independent, but at the first sign of trouble, they are still desperate to see their mom’s comforting face. Some days they smell really bad, and their fashion sense is questionable at best.