I am telling you now, dear boy, that junior high is fantastic and awful and amazing and embarrassing all rolled into two years.
I realize you’ll be a teenager soon so you already have all the answers, but please entertain me and read this from beginning to end.
Seeing as I don’t share the same anatomy as you, I won’t pretend to know how you are feeling as you transition from an old boy into a young man. But I do know how it feels to be a hormone-crazed girl and my best advice to you when dealing with such a species is: Be nice. Be respectful. Beware.
Your mom KNOWS about junior high girls. See that guy on the right? That guy had the hair of Vanilla Ice. Need I say more? See that girl on the left? It took me 45 minutes to tight-roll those jean shorts just right, Aqua Net that hair up, and locate my whitest Keds to blow him away. That guy and I spoke maybe 12 words to each other all year long, yet I assumed he was a lyrical poet. We were going to take 1990-1991 by storm. In a nutshell, junior high girls are crazy. TRUST ME ON THIS.
Over the past three months, there are a handful of girls who, much like me when I was their age, spent their summer days leading up to seventh grade obsessing over how they’ll look, who they’ll hang out with, and how they’ll manage to act casual yet intriguing in front of boys much like you.
The same girl you remember playing kickball with last May will show up in a week smelling nicer, looking older, laughing louder, and talking uncontrollably about crap you couldn’t care less about.
You are bound to feel confused and slightly annoyed by this behavior. Realize she may be second-guessing every decision she makes…so…
She will playfully punch you in the arm and tell you that you’re stupid while batting her eyelashes (which are longer than you remember) and you’re going to wonder, “What in the hell is she doing with her eyes? I don’t even know where I’m supposed to look.”
They’ll be crop tops, mini skirts, and little left to the imagination.
Whatever you do, don’t look down. Keep looking at girls in their eyes. In other words…always…
You will have feelings that are fueled by these alien females as well as constant razzing from your male peers. Do not engage in questionable behavior or hang out with the less-than-desirable crowd because you think it makes you seem cooler. I know I am slightly biased as your mom, but I can tell you with 100 percent certainty: You are cool enough as is.
Remember what is important to you. Continue to be a leader both inside and outside of the classroom.
No matter how much you or those around you change in terms of physical growth or behavioral tendencies, always remember what is important to you (yes, I repeated that on purpose). And when little miss sunshine comes prancing around the corner asking you to cut back on the things that make you the happiest in life so that you’ll have more time to spend with her…no matter how hot she is…
Written (with love) by Heidi Woodard
Special thanks to Peggy Dineen Reall for finding these blast-from-the-past pictures.