I knew the transition from middle school to high school
would be a big one for my 14-year-old son but I had no idea how much of a
difference it would make. My baby has
always been the type who loved having playdates, mingling and walking right up
to other children and playing with them, claiming everyone is his friend.
I’ll admit, I was envious of his ability to see the best in
everyone, and it delighted me that he was so gregarious. But when he completed
middle school, his closest friends were assigned to different high schools than
he was so he knew he would have to face this transition alone.
I coached him. I reminded him of how awesome he was. I shared stories about my experience and told
him that these next four years would be some of the most memorable of his life.
“Everyone is going to love you when they get to know you,” I
reminded him daily. “I can’t wait for them to realize how awesome you are.”
School began without fanfare and he reported on the new
experiences he was having like seeing classmates with beards, another classmate
who had a baby, watching the step team
perform and attending his first pep rally. Day by day I listened as he told
stories of the interesting comments his teachers made, how he was trying to
figure out how to make money by selling something to his classmates and which
sport, if any he should play.
But the one thing I kept waiting for never came. My baby hasn’t
made any friends yet.
When I asked him about it he claims that he knows some
people who went to his middle school but they weren’t his close friends.
“Do you talk to people?” I asked.
“Well, when I’m handing out papers I ask them what their
name is,” he replied. “If they speak to me then I’ll speak to them but if they
don’t, I won’t.”
“I don’t want to be one of those loud kids who get into
trouble, be mean to the teacher or attract attention for the stupid
stuff,” he explained. “I just do my work.”
“Are you okay with that?” I asked him, knowing that he’s not
because the first football game of the year came and he commented that he
didn’t want to have to sit in the stands alone.
“I’m okay, Mama. I talk to people. I just don’t know anyone
like that yet.”