Remember that piece of advice I wrote for you last year about how I remembered what it felt like to be a 12-year old girl in seventh grade whose primary goal was to snag the boy with Vanilla Ice hair? The one that I forced you to read on the way to football practice? About treating girls with respect while also not falling victim to their voodoo magic?
The one you took roughly 25 seconds to scan?
I could tell it sunk in deep. You thoroughly appreciated my insight.
As evidenced by your head nod, grunt, and total indifference.
Lucky for you, I REMEMBER EIGHTH GRADE TOO. I feel like I would be robbing you of a treasure chest full of mom knowledge if I didn’t impart my wisdom on you again this year.
So here goes…
Sports are your world right now. Look, I toooeeetally get it. It’s hard to beat that feeling of competing alongside and against your friends. It’s fun to be cheered for at pep rallies and to have your locker decorated on game day. Just remember to keep your eyes open to new areas of interest too. Don’t let your jock friends be your only friends.
Were you aware your mom was quite the singer back in the day? Wait, scratch that. Technically, if we’re being real, mom went to a small enough school to be deemed “not as tonally terrible” as the dozen or so other kids who tried out for musicals so she landed solos in a select few.
I was going to be nicer to my former cast members, but no one seemed to have kept a picture of me as Alice in Alice in Wonderland our eighth grade year (which, frankly, floored me) so I’m letting the claws and honesty come out.
Whatever you do and no matter how old you might feel, remember that no one has your back like your mom does.
You can publicly ignore me around your friends and then come to me when you need my help. I get it. I used to do the same to my parents.
But my parents didn’t have social media to pay me back.
Your dad had interests outside of sports in eighth grade too. I had the privilege of listening to him recite the entire soundtrack of Straight Outta Compton while sitting next to him last Friday night at the movies. Who knew he was a closet rapper back in the day? Obviously NOT your grandma or grandpa with those lyrics! He kept that talent well hidden from them.
You seemed to have grown about half a foot over the last year. This increase in height has made you jump to the conclusion that there should be a proportionate increase in your level of freedom and independence from your dad and me. We’re here to remind you on a daily basis that you are still 13.
I’ll try to continue to give you some slack as long as you don’t give me too much of an attitude. A little attitude is understandable. That’s how we define ourselves in this world after all…especially in eighth grade.
I’m confident you will conquer this – your final year of junior high. I feel myself taking shallow breaths anytime I think about how few days remain between now and your freshman year of high school.
But don’t you fret. I’ll offer up some ninth grade wisdom soon enough.
Written by Heidi Woodard