Middle School Anxiety Day 1

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Middle School is off to a roaring good start and by roaring I mean the very loud gut-wrenching vocalizations of an angst-ridden tween who is losing her mind. I’m not so sure Bug would appreciate me making fun of her here on my blog but she is always telling me to write a graphic novel so we’ll just put these sketches here and say that they may not be the whole story. I’ll give her a chance to make fun of me too. SHE has plenty of material to do so with.

I really was that horribly embarrassing parent on orientation day. Me being me, I decided to walk the dogs before orientation which was at 10am. I left at eight-ish.  Plenty of time right? My walk usually takes 45 minutes and then I take a shower (because I am the walking sweat machine). Then we’d walk to school her and I. No big thing.

Well…one thing lead to another and five minutes from getting home from walking the dogs I get a frantic call from Bug. “WHERE ARE YOU MOM?! I’M GOING TO BE LATE! I NEED YOU TO DO MY HAIR!!” fret fret fret, freak-out, freak-out, freak-out. So I rushed home, jumped in the shower, barely dried my new hairstyle of a hair cut and quickly braided her hair. We walked as fast as we could to school and then stood in line for an hour.

My wet hair was dripping all down my back and I was sweating because it’s been hotter than dog’s breath lately and it’s terribly HUMID. All the water was cumulating in the swell of my back where my butt sticks out. I can’t help it. I have a bubble butt. Bug was beyond embarrassed. If she has more acne than usual on her forehead it’s because of all the face palms. I tried my best to ride the wave of embarrassment by pretending that nothing was wrong. I greeted all her friends and their parents and we had the usual parenting social hour which you know is the worst torture ever for budding young middle-schoolers.

We survived orientation and we were both pretty excited about middle school. We went back-to-school shopping and bought about a thousand surf-related t-shirts. She got a new back pack. All was going well.

But I sensed it wasn’t so smooth-sailing when she called me twice from her Dad’s to make sure I would be there Thursday morning to do her hair if her dad dropped her off early. Poor kid. She was fretting over everything. She made a special notebook with folders and her schedule clipped prominently inside. She made sure she went to bed early two nights before so she would be in the habit of getting up early and then called me in a panic because her dad was NOT getting up early on her practice going-to-school-days. I told her not to worry. Her dad would indeed get up in time on the day he actually needed to get up early.

This is what it’s like when you have anxiety.

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Today she showed up extra early. Almost an hour before school started. We took pictures with her dad and then went inside to do her hair. I went over her list of things she’d need for the day. Did she have her notebook? Did she have her lunch? Did she have her schedule and ID card? Wait What?!! OH NO SHE DID NOT! She forgot everything at her dad’s house and there was no time to go all the way to his house to get them!

Oh crap.

Much weeping and wailing went down while we packed another lunch, printed out her schedule from online and sat down to practice her new combination lock she would need for her locker. Oh my goodness, you’d think figuring out a combination lock was something out of National Treasure with secret compartments and dead sea scrolls. Turn the lock three times to the right, then two times to the left, then one time to the right…

Mom, stop screwing me up! I don’t think in pictures like you do!”

Albeit, I was trying to explain how the levers worked inside the lock with hand movements. I guess imagining the internal mechanisms of a lock don’t help everyone like they do me.  In the end I just let her muddle through it and somehow on the seventh or eighth try (after two freak-out melt-downs) she figured it out.

Hell-LAY-lujah.

Kids, man. They just don’t want to be helped. But if you don’t help them YOU ARE THE WORST.

She did want me to walk her to school though which surprised me because I’ve been preparing for the parental rejection years since kindergarten. I know I’m embarrassing for her. I embarrass myself!  Surely she doesn’t want me walking her to school. But she was nervous. The whole lack of a schedule and an ID card was nerve-wracking. So I walked half way and then her friend showed up. Her friend is the exact opposite of her. Cool as a cucumber and not one bit worried about anything under the sun. She shrugged off Bug’s worries as if they were mere dandelion seeds flying in the wind. No schedule, no ID card, no problem! It’s the first day of school nobody expects you to know what you’re doing. Today is a free day!

I love her friend. I’m super sad she’s moving to New York in two days. I think we both need her.

Beach Mornings

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Last weekend Bug announced that we were going to the beach for bagels. She didn’t ask anyone if that’s what we wanted to do. She just announced it.  It’s a thing the girls and I do from time to time. We get bagels on our way to the beach and then sit on the lifeguard tower or on a towel on the sand and enjoy our breakfast while watching the waves. It’s not a bad idea really. But I’m not so sure how I feel about Bug dictating the day for the rest of us.

So we hashed it out. We didn’t really have any plans. Everyone threw out all the things we wanted to do and finally by the end of it we admitted that Bug’s idea was the best idea. Also the cheapest. So off we went! All four of us!

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I took my camera along because I am trying to be more responsible in generating content here on this blog AND hey, what do you know, some of these shots might work out really well for the end-of-the-year calendar I like to make as a Christmas gift for the grandparents! Hot diggety! Also it gives me something to do besides going in the water. I’m kind of a curmudgeon when it comes to going into the actual water. It was supposed to be a “morning” at the beach not to be confused with a “Beach Day.” Well, you know how that went.

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When we left it was cloudy and we only thought we’d stay a few hours. But then the sun broke through and it turned out to be a perfect beach day!! Why didn’t I wear my bathing suit?!! Because I’m a curmudgeon that’s why. Grumble, grumble… I really should know better. I am a beach expert. There is really no going to the beach and not getting wet.

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Bug was in her element. She’s a beach kid through and through.

I love that she grew up on the beach and doesn’t get grossed out by a bit of sea weed. You can tell when someone is from inland, they won’t get near the stuff. Sand between their toes? Nope. But us, we sleep in sandy sheets and think it’s normal.

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The waves were decent so the girls tried to brush up on their body-surfing skills. Let’s just say we need to go to the beach more this summer. They need some practice.

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I took a thousand pictures. I love this beach so much. I do miss not living by it anymore. I miss all the changing colors with the weather and the geography of the rippling rocks, bending to whatever plate tectonics we have going on. It’s just so beautiful and changing every day.

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At one point Bug snuck up and threw some seaweed on me while I was bending over taking pictures of a shell or something. Insert rolling eye emoji.

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Eventually we had to cut the girls off. I hate doing it. I want to be that parent who can stay at the beach all day until the sun goes down and they exhausted and sun-kissed but I had things to get done. You know how it goes.  Phones are dying, stomaches are grumbling for lunch, the laundry needs to get done before the week starts up again etc etc… So we packed up our towels and beach blankets and slowly made our way back to our boring regular every-day life. Next weekend we have the girls I vowed that we’d do it again and this time pack a lunch and plan to stay all day. Next time!

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But a beach morning is better than a no-beach morning. So we kissed our favorite view goodbye and promised we’d be back soon.