Thursday, November 12, 2015

7th grade: Missteps, mistakes, and grace

Monkeymoo survived 6th grade.

I'd say "And she has the picture to prove it" but I don't even know what this is.

It wasn't easy. There was a lot going on, which Monkeymoo can one day share, or not. It's hers, not mine to disclose. But I wanted to take a moment to update my Middle School Mania post from a year ago.

I want to start by saying that post might not have been fair. I can't help but feel that I might not have been fair and here's why: In addition to being these amazing, wonderful, surprising, snarky, and occasionally growling people, our tweens are still kids.

And as such, they can and do behave like kids, poking into areas they might not when they grow into better judgment and behaving in ways that aren't necessarily the greatest. As much as we might think our kids couldn't or wouldn't do such things, they can. And will. Because being a complete and fully realized human requires screwing up. It just does.

A friend told me last year that they have to be allowed to make mistakes. She's right. Even big ones. Even mistakes that are ouchy for those around them. Because those mistakes add up in the experience column to create cool people.

I hope that my daughter won't make mistakes that hurt others. But if she does, I wish for two things: That she has the ability to say I'm sorry and that those around her have the grace to embrace her accidents and apologies.

Seventh grade is better, so far. Monkeymoo and the friend she had so many troubles with are back together again, and in the meantime, she expanded her friend circle and became a little more social. Last year was tough - painful even.

But there will be a lot of years like that and each time, as it always does, it will get better.

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