The new school year begins tomorrow for Jman and he is headed to middle school. He has no worries about it, but I am a quivering mass of fears. Why? Well, we went for orientation yesterday, and Jman was given his locker, books, gym clothes etc. When we went to his locker, we found that his was the one on the top and he can't see the combination on it since it is too tall for him. It was almost comical as you looked down the line of students; it seemed as though cosmic forces were at work since many short kids were stretching to see their top locker combos while the tall kids were bending down to reach their low lockers. No switches were allowed for that day although it was mentioned they might be able to switch the lockers the first day of class.
Jman is so naive and innocent. When I mentioned to him that if he was lost he should ask a teacher not a student where a class was located, he wanted to know why. When I explained to him that sometimes upperclassman will send the new kids of the school to the wrong place (my day it was the pool on the third floor - no pool, no third floor), he didn't understand why someone would do that.
He is smaller and younger than many of the kids in his grade and I am afraid he will get picked on. The gym uniforms they have don't even come in a size that fits him. The shorts are extra loose, and I can picture him getting "pantsed" in gym class. Why am I imagining all these bad things, I do not know. It could be because Jman does not hide his emotions well. If he is upset, you will see it on his face. It often looks like he is ready to cry when he gets angry, and he has a great deal of difficulty controlling those emotions. I see it as a red cape waving in the wind for bullies to target.
In Jman's defense, he has a confidence when it comes to new situations that I never had. He thinks middle school will be fine, it'll just be school, which he does not enjoy, but it does not have any extra worries for him. His homeroom class is his art teacher, and he could not be happier about it. In fact, she is already talking about taking the students to the NY and Washington, D.C.
I just want to protect him, to have things run smoothly for him. I know that the teenage years bring angst and upheaval for children, but can't I protect him a little longer?