As school approaches and I ready my son for fifth grade, I think back to what life was like when I was in fifth grade. The social realm really started to open up that year. Liking boys and walking to the local Burger King with friends were top priority. Cliques started to develop. What you wore and how you looked started to be much more important than it ever had before.
I look my son and think, if only I could tell him. His sweet, kind demeanor may be in for a shock this year. I have already noticed the difference in the friends he hangs out with in the neighborhood. We recently moved to a new home in January and he still feels a bit conflicted about which kids he wants to call friends. It seems to me that he expects his “friends” to never say a bad word and be constantly knocking on the door for him to come out and play. But, it doesn’t work that way, I tell him.
Sometimes they will say things to be hurtful. Other days, you’ll be picked first to be on their football team. I try to explain that so many friends will come and go over the years. The best you can do is enjoy the fun and try not to take too much to heart. Having a conversation with a 10 year old requires a short delivery if you want their full attention. If only I could tell him all the great things I look back on now, and that I’ve forgotten the bad things.
If only he knew all the things that I know now. But then how would he ever learn it for himself?