I love, love, love teaching in a middle school. I love the humor, the screaming hormones, the variety in size, shape, development. Middle schools are my favorite places to be. I don't even mind the smells of middle schooler bodies after gym class.
But living with one such beast? Not so much. The rebellion and opposition, the angry fight to disengage from me as a parent, me as ruler, me as boss. The lack of interest in personal hygiene drives me to distraction. Unattended zits, body odor, greasy hair, wrinkled clothing covered in pet hair thrown on for a day at school, folders torn and full to overflowing with wrinkled, torn and stained papers, sleeping and more sleeping, waiting to do homework until the adults needed to help are ready for bed, the love for inane and really stupid adolescent TV shows, excessive milk consumption, growing an inch every few months which then necessitates new clothing and shoes, and did I mention the constant opposition and lack of awareness of how one is affecting others?
Now multiply that by one million or so, and you have my life with Movie Man. Add to above list, ADD, communication disorder, anxiety disorder, learning disability, no internal clock (no clue how much time is passing or sense of where he should be at any given time), and some perseveration.
I will be honest. I do feel the almost impossible not to act on urge to run. Pack the car with some precious items (books, chocolate, bottle of bourbon, jeans and t-shirts, debit card, license and iPhone) and leave. This is really hard to fight. Really hard. And there are times I am reduced to a very silent, close to tears, giver upper.
I love Movie Man. I love him so much it hurts. I am very afraid for him. His faulty wiring seems impossible to overcome at most, compensate for at the least. And right now, he is fiercely defending his position that he has nothing to overcome, no responsibility to own his deficits and mindfully work on them. And even though I know he is doing his adolescent job, most days I am very depressed about it all.
In 10 years (not any more optimistic than that) I hope to look back on this period and chuckle. I hope to look back on this period and say, "Who knew he would ever be successful and happy?"
I just hope I haven't suffered a debilitating stroke or heart attack getting us there.