middle school optimist…umm the exact opposite of me at that age!

do you remember middle school?

i remember middle school being one of the worst times of my life. not only did i make a couple bad decisions, although rebounded from them, it was rough. 
i had a girl that followed me around growling at me
i had mean girls that would snub me and get the their girls to snub me too
boys were just dumb
i had acne, who am i kidding, i still do, but those same girls were super mean about it

now i do have good memories from middle school too, but that feeling of being worried about who i would talk to some of the days, well that is not a feeling i would ever want anyone to have. 

i talk to my kids a lot about middle school and tell them about the girl who growled at me, yes we laugh about it now, but i want them to know how awful it is.
i have never had to worry about my oldest girl being teased or sitting alone. 
she is a beast and if she sees something out of line or happening to her, she is pretty level headed with a shitty comment, she learned from a pro, and walking away and letting it roll off her back. 
she also would never allow someone to be mean to someone else. 
my boy though, well that is another story. with him, i am terrified he is the one they maybe looking at different. 
he has a good group of friends, the teachers tell me and the friends of his i know, i can tell,
but he isn’t in the ‘athletic’ crowd
he isn’t part of the ‘it’ gang
i have watched him at events where kids his age, in his class, walk by him and they won’t even look at him. i will ask him:
‘why don’t you say hello?’
‘they just are not my friends, mom. thats not who i hang out with’
‘that is all the more reason you should say hello, they are in your class, you know who they are, be that person, look right at them and say hello!’

but he won’t just say to hello to these kids in his grade. i don’t get it, i have watched this boy give his balloon away to a boy because that boys balloon popped and the child was sad. he didn’t want him to be sad, so he gave him his. he likes balloons too, he likes to torture me with them! 

he is a gamer
he is funny & witty
he is immature
he has a crazy fun imagination
he is smart
he is brave
he has a huge heart

so last night i am laying with him talking about his day and we got to talking about lunch. i asked him:

‘who do you sit with?’
‘jack and another guy’
‘just jack and some other guy? and you don’t know what the other guys name is?’
yes, jack sits on one side of the table and the other guys sits on the other side.’
‘so there is only 2 people at the table?!!!’

cue me freaking out, the i hated middle school in me comes bubbling to the top. in the 1/2 of a second from his two sentence pause all of this raced through my mind:
…he is sitting at a lunch table with 2 other kids…all spread around the table…they are not talking…they are hovered over their ham and cheese sandwiches, yes, it is ham and cheese, i know this…other kids are at full tables…they are laughing, having fun…even the bag poppers are having fun, you know those kids that pop their sandwiches bags and get in trouble, they are known as bag poppers around these parts… no one wants to sit with my boy at lunch…he got blocked out of all the tables. I’m done! 

i am crying already and he hasn’t even spoken another word. 

half of a second pause is over and he continues with:

‘mom, if i sit at their table it almost looks half full when i get there. i don’t want jack to sit alone.’
‘jack is your pal, why would he be alone?’ 
‘he just likes to be alone mom, he doesn’t like to draw attention to himself’ 
‘what about the other kid, the one you don’t know his name?’
‘he just sits there, he talks to everyone who walks by, but he just sits there. my other friends asked me to sit with them, but i would rather just make this table look a little more full, so jack isn’t alone.’ 

i love him, i love his kind heart, i love his optimism and i love his almost half filled lunch table.

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