Overheard: “Don’t try to write anything funny.”

Ah, the joys of middle school life. Is anyone else out there in the midst of it? It’s a really complex time for those kids. And they might be, possibly, out of their minds. Helplessly so.

Anyway, the scene: Gavin, my 6th-grader, comes to me in the morning. He needs me to write a note giving him permission to ride the bus to a friend’s house after school.

That he comes to me with a Post-It Note we’ll ignore.

As I’m about to write the brief note, he says, “Don’t try to write anything funny.”

Because parents can be so painfully embarrassing . . .


  1. Nan Hoekstra says:

    I have stories like that with my four also — you are so fortunate to be living these middle-school moments ! It is all so marvelous, you just wait, oh, you already know. I am laughing with bliss of memories and the love we’ve grown into my kids and me…

  2. jimmy says:

    Great to hear from you, Nan. It’s truly an astonishing time in their lives, endlessly fascinating, and at times very difficult. Even painful, the awkwardness, the uncomfortableness in their own skin. This is my focus for the book I’m writing now, btw, 6th grade, middle school, and that outsider feeling.

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