As a kid, I loved to read.
Not much has changed in the last thirty plus years.
Last Sunday, I took the two older boys to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I know, not much of a cinematic challenge, but my boys LOVED those books. My oldest wanted to reserve a copy of the latest book in the series, The Last Straw, last summer. He wanted to be sure he would be one of the first people to have a copy, hot off the press. Although my children own each book in the series and I have several copies in my classroom, I have not actually sat and read the book.
I read it aloud, in Spanish to my class, but somehow, it lost so much in translation, and in the read aloud.
The movie was genuine. It depicts the painful awkwardness of Greg, a typical middle child, as he embarks on his first year of middle school. It captures the reality of the social atmosphere of middle school to perfection.
And while some of the antics are ridiculously funny, the movie offered a poignant view of what it is like for the middle son to find his way in a family, in a school, in society.
And even though the movie was entertaining, it helped me gain some insight on what it is like for boys growing up. How much their self esteem hangs on the acceptance of others. How much undercover nurturing they need so that they don't end up with the wrong crowd because they are worried about their social standings. Because they need to feel acceptance at home, within their family, so that they can spread their wings and soar.
It has been a mighty long time since I was a student in middle school. Yet watching that movie on Sunday, I felt compassion for these children...Growing up is hard work.
And if growing up is hard work, BEING a grown up is no picnic either.
So, I decided to do the most UN-grown up thing I could think of: I decided to read Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I know, what a rebel.
But sometimes, you need to remember where you have been so that you know where you are going.
And really, in many ways, mothers slightly resemble middle school kids, don't we?
We really don't know what we are doing. We are trying to fit in, with our kids, with other mothers. We want to be liked by the other moms, we want to be respected by our kids. Most of the time, we roll out of bed, pull a brush through our hair, brush our teeth, and get the day rolling.
We are finding our voice, our place in this great big world.
We are discovering who we are, what are strengths are.
We know we are not perfect. We are trying things out, finding our way.
So, as I frantically try to finish laundry and pack for all of us, for a couple of days at the beach, I will make sure I pack that book.
'Cause this mom is totally okay with being seen with a wimpy kid. Whether he is the author of a diary or not.