I don't think I've been this exhausted ever. I know fifty is only a number, but I seem to be feeling it. Some famous rabbi said something about teaching and soldiering being for the young.
I never set up my own kids to need to fight them. I am clear kids need guidance and limits, but I never needed to bring force for this to exist in my own world. I don't know what that says about me as a teacher.
Someone said I need to be responsible for how damned scary I am to these kids. My first response to this is that if I'm so scary, I don't get how they are acting out.
And on the other side, I've got ample evidence that my parenting style seems to work. And it could be that we're just a more docile breed, but each of my kids is his own kid, and each seems pretty happy, and alive, and secure.
Yesterday, we got to watch Uri compete for the first time. In a group of I think 12, he came in fourth. It was fun to watch. And he let me be there for him, and he was great, and he was great with his people.
He just generates relatedness and ease. He just fits in wherever he is, and I never get that he compromises who he is to be there. The kippah sits easily on his head. The wall moves easily beneath him.
He cares, but it's not a problem. He doesn't make it mean anything.
And mom has been great. She's a little higher energy that we're used to. There's always something to do. Dishes don't wait in the sink like they can with us. But then other games don't go unplayed either.
So let's go with a list for today, and then I'm off to pray. Things relevant to middle schoolers:
- Status, their place, how they show up, dominance heirarchies
- Sex, but we hope not too seriously
- Their future
- Avoiding embarrassment