Adam’s first week of middle school with is complete. Adam navigated his first 5 days without a glitch. 5 days down, 171 to go. I’m currently sitting on the sofa, writing, and breathing a sigh of relief….oh, who am I kidding, I’m actually sitting here diving headfirst into my second glass of wine. Tomatoes/tomatoes.
Adam says his favorite classes so far are math and science…no big surprise, for both of these classes are fairly concrete and have rules to follow. Adam loves rules. New to him are FACS classes (Family and consumer science…Home Ec for those of us who are a product of the 1980’s) His first class in this rotation is sewing. His first project; a drawstring bag. As we were waiting in line at the fabric store on Friday night, with his chosen Chicago Blackhawks material in hand, I was counting my blessings that Adam has a wonderful paraprofessional, Mrs. H., that helps him to navigate his schedule and his day. On the other hand, I was thinking that this poor woman does not make nearly enough money, for the video that I have playing in my head, of my son operating a sewing machine, is nothing short of a bloody massacre. This is going to be a huge learning curve for all those involved.
As we continue to wait in line, I decide check his sewing project assignment one more time from my phone. I scroll through Canvas, the on-line assignment program that our school district uses, and I happen to notice, much to my horror, that Adam has health class is first in his PE rotation. I’m now trying to fight the overall sinking and sick feeling in my stomach. Sewing and sex ed…all in the first month of school? I silently promise Mrs. H, that I will start saving my spare change in order to send her on a fancy vacation accompanied by lots of tropical drinks that I KNOW she will need, come winter break, in December.
Any typical middle school boy dreads sex ed in middle school. But not Adam. His mind does not allow him to understand embarrassment. He will march right into this class with the same pragmatic approach that he does with anything else in life. I often admire how matter of fact he is about everything and am often envious of this quality…..Until he turned 11 years old. Over the past 6 months I have had many interesting conversations with my son. His inquisitive mind, minus the inhibition, in combination with ‘who knows what’ is going on in his head, is a dangerous mix. For example,
Earlier this past spring, I was laying in bed with him,unfortunately fighting a headache, as he was reading one of his favorite chapter books to me. He stopped for a second and examined a crease in the middle of my forehead as he does occasionally. This time, however, instead of making a comment about my face being cracked, me being old, or some other blunt observation that he is so well know for, he just begins to rub it:
Me: Thanks buddy. That’s actually making my headache feel much better
Adam: Mom has a headache because why?
Me: I just have a headache.
Adam: Because why?
Knowing if I don’t give him a reason, we could potentially be having this conversation for a while; I decide to proceed with the old ‘answer-the-question-with-the-actual-terminology- and-reason-and-it-should-be-over’ trick.
Me: Probably because of hormones.
Adam: Mom’s ‘Hores’ are ‘moaning’ because why?
And with that, I quickly jumped out of his bed, turned off his light and ran for the hills. That was enough questions for the night!
The time that I came home from work one day and found Adam in him room playing on his iPad. I sat down next to him on his bed and proceeded to ask him about his day. He was immediately distracted by something on my shoulder. I look to my left and realized that my bra strap was showing. I cringed and braced myself for the parade of questions that I knew were coming:
Adam: What’s that white thing?
Me: My bra strap.
Adam: Mom’s bra strap does what?
Me: Girls wear them like an undershirt.
Adam: Or to cover the pointy things on Mom’s chest.
Me: Typically never at a loss for words, I feel my face getting redder by the minute, and am now frightened as to where this conversation is heading. I then reluctantly respond: “yes”
Adam: Otherwise what will happen?
Me: ummmmm…..I don’t know, buddy, you tell me.
Adam: Otherwise, if mom doesn’t wear that white thing, her chest is going to fall all over the ground.
I sat there, really wanting to be in his head for just one minute, realizing that he does have quite the imagination. On the other hand, maybe it’s wishful thinking, because, for the record, if I did not wear my bra, my chest definitely WOULD NOT fall all over the ground!!
I still reflect on these conversations and continue to waffle on whether he even remotely understands anything about the birds and the bees. On the other hand, I’m completely convinced that for boys, bras, boobs, hormones, and butts are just innate and he 110% totally gets it!! Regardless, I’m thoroughly convinced that I will have more to worry about with Adam than Alex, his brother, who turns beet red at the mention of the word “girl”.
So tomorrow is day #6. 170 more days to go. Mrs. H., I can’t tell you how much we appreciate you. For sure, you have your work cut out for you. I apologize in advance.
Meanwhile, I’ll be rubbing my temples, bracing myself for another week of Adam and middle school; anticipating headaches, and at the same time praying that my ‘Hores’ don’t moan too much!!