this morning i walked the road walked by thousands of youth workers before me: i took my oldest child to middle school (she actually started monday, but i got home from england last night — so today was my first time to take her).
i’ve been on hundreds of middle school campuses, thousands of times. and i’ve been at my daughter’s school (her previous school — an elementary school) thousands of times. but this was different.
i mean, i’ve spent 25 years with middle schoolers. i’ve written books on them and for them. i’ve spoken hundreds of times about understanding them. but this changes everything. and i saw that campus differently today than i ever have.
liesl still wanted me to park the car and walk her onto the campus (which was wonderful, even though i was one of the only parents there). and she still gave me a kiss when the bell rang, right in front of all her friends. and i told her to “be good and say no to drugs”, to which she gave me an archetypal 6th-grader eye-roll. and i walked back to my car feeling somewhat numb (literally, not figuratively!), with a slight buzz in my head.
any second now, the new reality will be: marko knows absolutely nothing about middle schoolers.