Saturday, August 14, 2010
How-To Guide for Parents of High Schoolers
You can reminisce all you want about the good old days of Spiderman pajamas. About the days when your little boy got a pair of Spiderman gloves and really, truly thought he'd be able to climb the walls of his room. And fell down a few times trying. You can forget about all the Camouflage clothing you bought him too. That was so middle school, after all, him being dressed head to toe in camo, his backpack matching camo, to the point where some days I wasn't even sure I could find him, he was camouflaged so well.
He's in high school now and there are a whole new set of rules.
First of all, no camo. Second of all, he's only allowed to wear one type of shorts: basketball shorts. And those must hang down to his knees. He can wear them in any ridiculous color under the sun (except girly colors or camo, of course) and with t-shirts. But the t-shirts have to pass inspection. While the mom inspects for inoffensive language and no gang symbols (like I'd recognize them), the high school kid inspects according to a different standard: cool. I'm clearly out of my league on this one.
Then there are the accessories. First of all, the wheelie backpack got wheeled away before 8th grade. Apparently it doesn't matter how heavy his backpack is, how many textbooks have to come home with him, how damaged his vertebrae, he must carry the load on his back like a mule. Secondly, no more lunch box. Lunch boxes are only for middle school. Even paper sacks show a little too much effort. Any lunch preparation from home has to look haphazard, not like we tried too hard. Hopefully, I guess, it should look like we didn't try at all. We need to throw everything in a plastic grocery store bag.
No juice bags or juice boxes. Obviously. He now can only bring cans of soda or bottled water. You guessed it - anything else looks nerdy. I'm afraid to ask about the bags of chips. Do I need to open them up and randomly throw them in a baggie, maybe step on them so they're a little crushed?
And, last thing, I'm afraid to ask, is it now nerdy to be Bar Mitzvahzilla? Is it now nerdy to be locked by your mother in your thirteen-year-old persona on a blog when you're fifteen now and in high school?
I don't ask the question. I don't want to hear the answer.
Have you ever navigated these cool/uncool waters with your kid? Had a kid at one of the transitional ages - middle school, high school? Ever been flabbergasted by all the rules they're obeying that have nothing to do with your own?