This year I have a middle schooler again in my house. Just as TJ exited stage right and headed into high school, Ty entered on stage left. This week he went off to 6th grade science camp so I thought in his honor I'd talk about the joy of Middle School in my home.
I can't speak for all Middle School Boys- and I've been a high school pastor primarily for the last 18 or so years of my life- but just in case he's stereo-typical, here's what I've been reminded of about Middle School boys again:
MIDDLE SCHOOL BOYS LIKE TO LAUGH AND EAT. He likes inside jokes especially and most of the time comes back from his small group telling me about something that he thought was silly and whatever they ate. He just got back from middle school camp today and I asked him how it was and he said, "GREAT". I thought this was awesome and asked why. His single word answer was "Food". Evidently the self-select all-you-can-eat buffet was great for this growing boy. He is very proud of how much pizza he managed to pack away on pizza night. It's like a badge of honor or something.
MIDDLE SCHOOL BOYS LIKE TO SERVE AND BE SIGNIFICANT. Tyler wants to serve. He begs me to get up early on Sunday and come and help in the sound booth. I'm his soccer coach and he decided to cut soccer and left me on the sidelines alone with the team one week to go join our Middle School ministry for a community service day that was here in San Diego with a bunch of churches a few weeks back. We have a GREAT middle school ministry that he LOVES and they sent me these pics of him after the serve weekend. So great. So much fun. I love the smiles on his face in these pics. I love how he feels believed in and how he is striving to be a significant difference maker in his world.
MIDDLE SCHOOL BOYS ARE CREATIVE. Tyler makes duct tape wallets, watches youtube videos to steal and gather new ideas, and most recently, got together with his fellow middle school buddy from our street to make his first ever custom Halloween costume. Tyler made it by himself using our printer, some paint, some glue, and a a couple of cardboard boxes. He was a soda vending machine and our neighbor was a candy machine. Too funny and so creative. It's like he's just oozing with a desire for more of that.
MIDDLE SCHOOL BOYS ARE CONSTANTLY GROWING AND CHANGING. It's like his body is in full fledged tilt mode. Changes are knocking on the door of childhood and his body is pushing him into a young man. He just lost a molar last week & it was as if his body was saying, "Get the child out, it's time to grow up now!" As a dad, I both want to embrace and celebrate the change and also put the brakes on it too. I'm eager to see who he will become as a young man, but I'm celebrating his fleeting childhood right now too as it's literally ticking away day by day.
I love me this Middle School boy.