It appears that I have gone back to middle school. At the age of 35.

Last night I went to middle school orientation with my oldest son. How did this happen? Am I in some sort of time warp? I can’t be old enough to have a child in middle school. I feel like I’m still in my twenties (until my body reminds me I’m most assuredly not, but that’s a different post all together).

Lest you think I’m delusional, I’m not the only one who thinks this way. People I meet are often shocked that I have an almost 12 year old.

I too never felt old enough to be in this stage. Until last night. Until my son treated me as though I were the most uncool person on the planet. Which takes me back to the start of this post…I am back in middle school. Except this time, my own kid is playing the part of all the other kids.

You know, the kids you tried to impress, tried to convince you were cool.The kids you made sure you didn’t laugh too loud in front of, or wear the wrong clothes in front of, or say something dumb in front of. Now my son is those kids and I am thrust back into wondering how to behave around him.

I find myself hurled into a new reality, where I’m unsure of my footing. Where I don’t know how to behave, what to say, where to stand, what to do.

Yup, that’s middle school all over again.

Many have encouraged me his behavior is normal, that he still needs me. I believe them. But I must confess, middle school was brutal the first time. I’m not sure how I’m going to handle it again.

But I’m in it for the long haul. I won’t check out on my kiddo. I’ll buckle my seat belt and brace myself for the roller coaster. I’m sure there will be highs and lows, screams and tears, and I might even lose my lunch a few times. But God willing, we will survive the ride.

So bring it on middle school. I’m impervious to your tests of coolness, your cliques, your homework, your awkward pre-pubescent minions. I’m older, and thankfully, wiser than the last time around. I know who I am better than before, and I’ll help my kid as he navigates who he is.

We will prevail over your insecurities and dramatic woes. Just don’t bring back the same hairstyles or clothes, I beg you.