All moms should be divas...this one just happens to be in Jersey!

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 1980 All Over Again

Just prior to seventh grade, my parents decided my brother and I should switch schools. I was pretty happy about it, being miserable in the junior high I attended. Yes- I said junior high- because it was the 80's so the societal "must call it middle school" crossover had not hit NJ. But I digress. This isn't about society, it's about me, in seventh grade. As eager as I was to change, I was nervous like any new kid in a school. By seventh grade, it wasn't just about being the new "kid" in school. Adolescence had set in, so there I was now "the new girl." The pressure to befriend girls but also enchant boys snuck in. Somehow, within one marking period, I had the cutest boy as my first boyfriend, my first kiss, my first puppy love. Then, my first broken heart rushed through in that pre-teen whirlwind.

When I look back, I feel like I was kid until sixth, then(BAM) a young girl nervous around boys in seventh. There's a clear line between kid and dating drama that is drawn in my memory at the "September 1980" mark. So here's my problem: Son1 just started a new school, and he entered seventh grade. He's girl crazy~ September 2010 is his September 1980. Holy crap, I am SO not ready for this!

Thirty years on, I'm still licking my wounds over why the cutest boy in seventh asked ME out only to move on in 3.873 weeks, give or take. I'm not ready for Son1 to try to sound romantic in that dufusy 12yr old boy way! And Good Lord does he sound dufusy. I love him to death, but it can be painful. Did my puppy love sound like such a goof ? I was too busy swooning to notice. But there's also the fact that I'm not ready for him to have that seventh grade heartbreak, either.

(Ok, I'm now flipping to the less correct "7th" form vs. seventh or I'll never finish typing.)

Son1 has a cell phone far more advanced than his social skills, so I do monitor the chatter. It also helps me see who's up to what. You know, like the way the CIA keeps tabs on terrorist chatter? Yeah, that's me with Son1 and his friends. Though I doubt Osama & Co. are all "like OMG U R 2 cute LOL" to his "shawtie." Whatever the hell that is. I will say 7th grade girls are clearly more advanced when it comes to verbal social skills. That's no urban legend. They can each forumlate sentence after sentence of dialogue, fit into Twitter-esque snippets. And then the boys reply, "k." Or, "kk." Then the girl goes on for 6 more sentences, then the boy replies, "Yep." Four more sentences, followed by the heartfelt boy reply, "Uh huh." (Do you notice this pattern? It will continue through life for male-female relationship interaction. But read it in text and it's like a coded transcript.)

What I don't understand is why the girls keep texting him back. He is a good looking kid, from a good family, with a stunning mom and two nice dogs. That part I know. But he opens his mouth around a girl and I cringe. His thumbs fly through a text and I groan. He sounds THAT "un-smooth." But yet, here come the girls, back for more scintillating "kk" banter. They really are that hormonally charged that they are beguiled by Son1's attempts at suave. Part of me wants to pass out. Not because because my son is old enough for this all, but that he's that bad at it all. But it doesn't stop the girls. They're like moths to flames. Even the AXE doesn't drive them away.

Son1 has now gotten himself to the girl-crazy point of complete focus on having a girlfriend. While this may not bode well for his Math and Social Studies instruction, it's not just the teachers that should be concerned. You'd think the girls in school should be alarmed. He's going to be throwing his inner-James Bond into hyper drive to charm you, ladies. But this is where I begin to get a little uneasy. They're falling for it. And then they're sacheting their short short tushes his way. If our recent trip to the amusement park in PA with my friend and her 13 yr old son is any indication, I've got a long road ahead of me. That day, our collective Sons1 were under surveillance with a subtlety not seen since Peter Sellers starred in a Pink Panther movie. The girls were circling like swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano... or vultures over Death Valley.

Well, there you go, right on cue as I wrap this. That infernal bleep/ring heralding a new text for him. Yes, there goes the really dumb wide grin across his face. Yes, he's a 7th grader, and yes, he's fresh meet for the boy-crazy girls. I can see the replay of my very own super-speed tween soap opera occurring any day now, and I know. I know I am not ready for this... simply not ready.


  1. "A well written life is almost as rare as a well spent one." Thomas Carlyle

    Here is to your life...which seems to be both. Thank you for your PAINFUL HONESTY....I so remember you cute and so beautiful now...and OMG I am so scared too as my daughter enters seventh. Those first wounds are the most painful AHHHHH!!! But love is such a wonderful part of life. You are so great Leigh!!!!

  2. Get ready for a wild ride! Son 1 here is now getting text from 2 girls who have only seen pictures of him but are in love! & is texting vocab is no more verbose then you 7th grader. 8th grade not looking any better. A asked m last night when the drama will end. I said about 10 more years!

  3. oh boy, things are definitely going to get even more interesting for you. Good luck my friend. :-)

  4. My oldest did the same thing. He left elementary school and suddenly found girls to be "hot." I hate that term. Luckily my next son, who is now in eighth grade still is pretty clueless.

  5. Let's be honest: the "Cutest boy" boyfriend you had 30 years ago was JUST LIKE YOUR SON. You swooned (we all did) and this little girl is swooning her first swoon, too. They will always be the same, we will always be the same. It's a beautiful, adorable and tragic truth.

    Good luck with the boy/ girl drama. Somehow, I think it will all turn out OK ;)

  6. I can't imagine going through this with JDaniel. He does flirt with cashiers though. I tell me that they really want someone who is potty trained.

  7. You know, that was true for me too - everything changed between 6th and 7th grade. I never really thought about it until reading this!

    My son is only 4 right now, but I can remember when my boyfriend Henry's sons were in middle school, and thinking, "Holy shit, when I was their age, I had crushes on boys who acted JUST LIKE THEM? How did that HAPPEN?"

    And now, with texting and MySpace - I can't even fathom how dramatic middle school dating must be. Good luck!

  8. My oldest is in fourth grade. I do worry about these phases coming up...

  9. I was worried the day my eldest daughter came home from K to tell me her older brother (1st grade) was getting kissed under the slide by TWO different girls!

    I told hubby don't worry about a glass, just hand me the bottle.

  10. Leigh, I really enjoy your blog. My sons are now 37 & 39 but I could insert the names, Mark & Stephan into your articles. I'd like to tell you that as they get older the 'mind games' and issues continue! However, as they get older the love they give to "Mom" is unmeasurable.