What a difference a year makes! In the last 365 days, I don’t think this kid (or his hair) has stopped growing. For proof, check out last year’s FDOS post. But the growth leading up to eighth grade has been much more than physical.
I spent a substantial amount of time this summer worrying, planning, brainstorming, and therapy-ing. All with the goal of going into the last year of middle school with a solid plan. I’ve learned (we’re never too old to!) that the better prepared I am, the better prepared my kiddo is. You know, the whole “Put your own oxygen mask on before assisting others” thing.
We’re two weeks in already, and so far so good…ish. Seems everyone and their dog (well, not ours*) got sick over the last couple of weeks. Luckily Jon didn’t get Covid, but he did get a nasty cold that took him out of commission for 3-1/2 days of the fledgling eighth grade year. So yup, he/we were already behind.
Determined to keep it all somewhat on track, we Facetimed (he in the basement, me in my office — 21st Century parenting, y’all!) to go over the assignments. While it got off to a rocky start, we made it through the entire list, submitted a few things, and made a plan to tackle the remainder over the weekend.
Gotta say, my tween surprised me by complaining substantially less than in the past. He even took a bit of initiative to power through the assignments without breaks and little assistance from me. The lack of whining was a sweet, silent song for my soul.
Beyond the homework/school stuff, maturity has started to show up in other places. Jon’s making his own meals and snacks on occasion; getting dressed for school without being reminded; charging his Chromebook each night. I’ve always thought I’d bemoan my baby growing up, but it warms my heart to see him being more self-sufficient in a positive way. As opposed to an “I’m going to do whatever I want” way… which I’m sure is up the road soon.
You can also see the signs of change in the annual superlatives I add to his First Day photo. He’s fully embracing the rock & roll lifestyle — from his hair to his taste in music to his passion for concerts and playing instruments. Even his favorite books are music-related. His favorite movies, TV shows and video games are decidedly more mature than most. But he’s yet to become a serial killer, meth mogul, or car thief, so I count that a win! In all honesty, my son is still the sweet, hilarious, passionate kid he’s always been.
Here’s to a great eighth!