Diary of a Middle School Kid

Zac has a difficult job this year: full time 8th Grade Student. I don’t know what you remember about Middle School, but my memories are rather grim. Kids at my Junior High school made fun of me because — get this — they thought my eyes were too far apart. Today I can close my eyes, which are evidently too far apart, and envision the moment in my mind. An opinionated loud mouth wearing a red polo shirt, sporting the classic 80’s middle-part haircut that gave a look of curtains to his head, his quietly irritated girlfriend standing by. We were cued up and waiting for lunch in the hallway leading into the cafeteria, lined up next to an endless row of pea-soup green lockers. He kept asking me why… Why are your eyes so far apart? I mumbled something about cranial proportion, which did absolutely nothing to increase my credibility as a cool kid.

I dunno. Maybe my eyes were too far apart. Perhaps they still are. What they said sure didn’t feel good, but they certainly deserve credit for generating an original put down. I mean… have you even heard that one before?

I’d like to think that red-shirted bully is now a moderately successful optometrist. Instead of asking why a patient’s eyes are too far apart, he poses a far more stress-inducing line of questioning: Which looks better? One or Two? Three or Four?

Naturally I worry about Zac going to middle school simply because he’s our kid and, well, it’s middle school. But this year has a higher risk factor because he’s going to a new school, generating a multiplying effect on the power of awkward. The math looks like this:

Hourly classes + thin mustaches + locker combinations + charging hormones + everyone trying to prove something = the impossible task of adolescence, multiplied by the New School factor of at least 3.

I’m relieved to report that it’s been a good week, thank the Lord.

Zac says, and I quote, “so far, middle school is going a bit better than I expected it to be. I’ve already made a couple friends, and my teachers seem to like me quite a bit.”

Brittany: “who wouldn’t like you?”

Zac: [smiles] “I spoke with one of my teachers about Ben Folds, and to another about The Beach Boys, so that’s cool. Oh, and everyone is talking about how handsome and modest and humble I am.”

Brittany: “Narcissistic much?”

Me: “Do you guys think my eyes are too far apart?”

I’m so thankful that the first week of Middle School has gone well for Zac. Our family breakfast prayer times this week have included study of how Jesus “grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom and the grace of God was on him” (Luke 2:40). Human beings are designed to grow physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. Middle School Human Beings have a LOT of growth to manage at the same time. I’m grateful for God’s grace in our kid’s lives, for His help in smoothing transitions and growing us into Christlikeness, and for Zac’s sensitivity to God’s Spirit who is, whether we realize it or not, with us in the good times and bad.

There is nothing in our lives — especially the growth of our children in difficult times — that we cannot entrust to God’s faithful care.

Zac and I in the school gym for orientation. They had the lights off, perhaps as a way of getting new students accustomed to the dark aura of Middle School.

About radamdavidson

When I'm not blogging, I'm hanging out with my family, pastoring a church, or listening to vinyl. I think and write about Jesus, music, communication, organizational leadership, family whatnot, and cultural artifacts from the 1980's -- mostly vintage boomboxes. You can read my blog at www.radamdavidson.com, watch [RadCast], a daily 3 minute video devotional, or find me on socials (@radamdavidson). I also help Pastors in their preaching and public speaking (www.CoachMyPreaching.com).
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