Sometimes I think I’m lacking some parental-sentimental gene, or maybe it’s a parental-protective gene. I didn’t weep when my kid went off to kindergarten (though I did take a picture). I don’t get verklempt at the school plays. I might kvell sometimes, but I’m just as likely to mock.
The other night, there was an orientation for parents of kids going to middle school next year. (I know, how did that happen? She can’t be that old.) So I went – isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? The email announcing the orientation session read, in part, as follows:
It's an exciting and sometimes stressful time as your child(ren) prepare to enter middle school next year. If you are interested, the following are upcoming information sessions pertaining to this transition.
What I realized partly through this waste of a Tuesday evening was that the Administration and/or the PTA think that the transition to middle school is stressful for PARENTS. This was all about using cute fifth graders in a scripted Q&A to assuage parents who are all freaked out about locker combinations, and walking down hallways alone, and OMFG guidance.
In the middle school my kid will attend, there are three guidance counselors and a psychologist and a part-time social worker – for about 700 kids. That seems excessive to me, excessive to the point of coddling all the precious snowflakes.
Did you have a guidance counselor in middle school? I’m fairly sure I didn’t, and if there was one in the school, it was to address the bad kids. We did have guidance counselors in high school, but there their sole purpose seemed to be to help navigate the college application process. (My guidance counselor suggested I should apply to a school that I didn’t even deign to consider a “safety” school – I always thought she was aiming kids low so that her stats would look better.)
I'm thinking that perhaps I'll skip the second orientation meeting, dubbed "Middle School 101" which includes such scintillating topics as "friendship/social development" and "how to prepare your child for middle school". Do I really need to waste another evening getting answers to questions I don't have? Does that make me a bad mother?
Really, all I'm worried about is how we're going to get her out of the house by 7:30 in the morning, given that most days she's asleep until 8.