taking my daughter to middle school
Thursday August 25th 2005, 5:44 pm
Filed under: youth ministry, personal

this morning i walked the road walked by thousands of youth workers before me: i took my oldest child to middle school (she actually started monday, but i got home from england last night — so today was my first time to take her).

i’ve been on hundreds of middle school campuses, thousands of times. and i’ve been at my daughter’s school (her previous school — an elementary school) thousands of times. but this was different.

i mean, i’ve spent 25 years with middle schoolers. i’ve written books on them and for them. i’ve spoken hundreds of times about understanding them. but this changes everything. and i saw that campus differently today than i ever have.

liesl still wanted me to park the car and walk her onto the campus (which was wonderful, even though i was one of the only parents there). and she still gave me a kiss when the bell rang, right in front of all her friends. and i told her to “be good and say no to drugs”, to which she gave me an archetypal 6th-grader eye-roll. and i walked back to my car feeling somewhat numb (literally, not figuratively!), with a slight buzz in my head.

any second now, the new reality will be: marko knows absolutely nothing about middle schoolers.

10 Comments so far
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maybe i’ll see ya there…how did they get this old???

Comment by mikey 08.25.05 @ 7:57 pm

what a trip that our daughters ended up at the same middle school, mikey! of course, it’s your baby, so you might have to coach me through this!

Comment by marko 08.25.05 @ 8:52 pm

yep! doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been in youth ministry…it just doesn’t prepare you for having them in your own home! welcome to the hormone club! and just wait! driver’s ed will be just around the corner! mac is now legal and drove himself to school yesterday on the first day! in my car !
how time flies!
and i do think frost and hirsch is one of the best books out there!
great stuff!
tell the o gang hi from the lewins!
and btw i am having greenbelt withdrawal! i’ll have to email a photo of you and jeannie at the tiny tea tent!

Comment by lillylewin 08.25.05 @ 9:49 pm

This is beautiful. I wish I would have had a father that cared as much as you do for your daughter when I was in middle school.

**blinks rapidly so as not to appear to be weepy**

Comment by Clint Walker 08.26.05 @ 2:29 am

Welcome to the exciting world of parenting adolescents. I’d say this was the time Nicole and I really didn’t like each other. And you know what kind of kids she was — you were her JH pastor! It was all me, being an overreactive mom. But But what love and grace she has for her parents — that is what brings me to tears.

Comment by yvonne 08.26.05 @ 11:35 am

Awesome Post Marko. Hard to believe but your passion for youth ministry will grow in unexpected ways for the next several years because of your own kids adolescent experiences. You think you are a crying man now, just wait, you ain’t seen nothing yet… my prayer for you is that they will all be tears of deep passion and tears of joy.

Comment by Mike 08.26.05 @ 6:56 pm

That’s pretty funny, because I was just thinking the other day that you didn’t know anything about jr. highers. Here’s a question for you…When do you tell parents that their kids behaved inappropriately? For example, if a kid at camp surf sneaks out at night to meet a friend of the opposite sex, then gets caught sneaking out, do their parents get told? If it were my daughter, I would want to know. But 15 years ago when I didn’t have teenagers, I wouldn’t have thought too long about not telling the parents (nothing “happened”, she was caught, and disciplined). What do you think?

Comment by Cathy 08.26.05 @ 11:38 pm

yeah, that’s a fine line, isn’t it, cath? i think in that case, i wouldn’t tell the parents. if something had been going on, i would probably expect the kid to tell his/her parents, and i would follow up. and if it were a pattern (not a one-time thing), then the same would apply. so much of my response would depend on the students’ response.

Comment by marko 08.27.05 @ 12:03 am

First, yes, I do read your blog. Second, you’re old. Junior high. Wow! Third, I take Ariel to high school on Monday and Selena to kindergarten on Thursday. Not sure how I feel about either.

It’s really cool that Liesl let you walk her in. I hope she wasn’t too nervous.

Maybe Ariel will let me walk her in. Would that be too weird? :)

Comment by Roni 08.27.05 @ 9:13 pm

that must mean you’re older than me, roni!

Comment by marko 08.27.05 @ 9:45 pm

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