Middle School - Sherpa Wanted

My funny, fabulous son started middle school this year, and he finally seems to be hitting his stride. Looking back, my middle school experience felt more like a ride in the back of one of those truck/bus jobbies in a third world country. You are not really confident you are on the right bus or are going in the right direction, there's a stranger coughing up a lung next to you and someone screaming behind you, and a chicken just ran over your foot. Chaos, laughter, and madness. I remember a lot of practical jokes, a lot of mean-spirited girls and guys, and a lot of good times doing some crazy things with people that I'm still best friends with. And a lot of boredom and frustration, trying to figure out the social scene while juggling school, family and eventually, a first job.

Now I'm a mom and I worry about a lot of things, but I try not to bring my own feelings and biases into my kids' lives... I believe that they should find their own path and discover who they are without mom (or dad) telling them what to think, fear, hope, believe, and do. I want to emulate those really amazing mountain sherpas, who carry baggage and gently guide, allowing the climber to make their own mistakes if they so choose (or provide guidance when they ask).

Middle school sherpas... what a concept. And those middle school backpacks are a lot heavier than I remember.

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