Middle School, Menopause, and My Rock Star

Written last night, on the eve of the first day of school 2015:

Little Man starts middle school tomorrow. In our town, that’s seventh and eighth grade. Weird, because I’ve always thought middle school was grades 6,7, and 8, and junior high school is grades 7 and 8. Nevertheless, the kid starts a whole new adventure tomorrow.

For those who are new here, Little Man is my son who is extraordinarily tuned into energy. He senses people emotions. He communicates with nature. He has a heart of gold and cares deeply. And he is an empath. He also happens to have anxiety from time to time, as is not unusual with empathic people.

School has not been a favorite place for him, partly because of being empathic, and also because of being dyslexic, having ADHD, and anxiety. It is a challenge for him to force himself to pay attention and to learn something he has less than no interest in.

One thing I’ve figured out about Little Man is that his brain moves fast, very fast. Sometimes, it moves so fast, I’m blown away. I get it now. When he’s interested in something, or if something comes naturally to him, his brain is able to cruise at mach 10 where it’s happy. But if something takes a lot of effort to learn or to understand, and if it’s something he’s not particularly interested in, in the first place, he doesn’t even want to go there. It becomes a fight to even pay attention.

After the nightmare that was sixth grade, we are cautiously optimistic that this next school year will better. The school is a different one. Little Man will have several different teachers instead of just one, and they’ll all be new to him. And the support he’ll get through the special education department should be much more than he got at his little elementary school. It’s all different. And my current mantra is “different is good.”

I was chatting with a friend yesterday whose younger son graduated from high school, so she’s out from under the obligations of the mom with a kid in school, time of life. Many of my childhood school mates started their families 10+ years earlier than I did, and their kids are in college, have graduated from college, or are getting married. When their kids were in middle school, they were around the age I was when I had my son. I realized that dealing with a middle schooler and menopause at the same time is a whole lot of hormones going on! Thank goodness for estrogen supplements and chocolate.

With summer vacation coming to a close, Mother Nature decided to bring on some excitement in the way of some major wildfires followed by our first winter storm type storm. Last Saturday, the winds howled, and the rains came and stayed. Because all the trees still have their leaves, we had more tree damage than I’ve seen since I moved to Washington state.

Just before noon, I was chatting on the phone and the lights flickered. Then they flickered again. I grabbed our old corded phone and plugged it in, mid-conversation. Thank goodness! A few minutes later, the power went out, and didn’t come back on for almost 3 days.

Little Man and I ran out to do a quick errand, and when we got out of the hollow we live in, the damage and gusting winds fast became evident. We stopped at one point to help throw tree branches off the road. And by the time we returned from our errand, a stand of cedars in the pictures above and below had gone over the road we had earlier traversed.

little man and fallen trees

It was quickly obvious that we would be without power for at least several hours. Because of this, I had my husband get the generator going and plug in our refrigerator and the freezer in the garage. As many times as we lose power during the winter, I can count the number of times we’ve plugged in the fridge and freezer on one hand.

Little Man was such a rock star during all of this. He jumped right in and helped lead extension cords to the house, through a window, and to the areas that needed power. We have several extra power strips and extension cords that he put to good use, making sure he plugged in his fish tank and a light in his bedroom. We had a few lights here and there, and Little Man remembered about an electric burner in the garage and brought that in. It was nice to be able to sip on hot tea while Little Man cooked ramen noodles for his father and himself.

Not only did Little Man help get us wired up with power, he grabbed a few buckets so we could dip water from a nearby stream to be able to flush the toilets. Being on a well, we lost our water supply. He also brought his guinea pig’s cage out to the living room so the little critter could be where the action was, as they are somewhat social creatures.

Gilbert, who joined the family on 8/1/15

Gilbert, who joined the family on 8/1/15

Little Man not only brought his pet out to the living room, where we were congregated, he brought his desk chair and a small folding table to hold his laptop. As the men were getting things set up with power, I took my loads of laundry downtown to the Laundromat.

I love how everyone jumped into gear, doing what needed to be done, no muss, no fuss, no complaining or whining; just getting it done. Little Man, in particular, loves this sort of shake up in the routine. It’s where he can shine. He is so capable in so many ways, and it’s at times like this that he truly rocks. I just wish his teachers at school could see him in action. I meet with them tomorrow and will be sure to share our latest adventure with them, to illustrate what a rock star Little Man can be.

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About mariner2mother

I'm a mother of a very spirited 14 year old son, and a former merchant ship's deck officer. To feed my creative side I take photos and make a very occasional batch of soap. I am also Reiki attuned and am a student of Energy Healing, having used several healing modalities to work on myself and my family.
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20 Responses to Middle School, Menopause, and My Rock Star

  1. WOW – Mother Nature is on a Tear Lately! I am wishing your son the best in school – good luck little man. Happy Day – Enjoy

    • Thanks for your good wishes. One day down, and so far, so good.

      • Take it one day at a time . . . I love the connection that you and your son have and that you foster his self and help him learn, grow and experience – that is so cool 🙂 Middle school is such an awkward time to begin with. I started in a whole new school in 7th grade and talk about a growing experience. I did give back though and helped tutor and be a teacher’s aid in my Senior year for the three 5th grade classes. I hope your little man takes it and runs with it in trying new things and getting involved in his school as well as his community.

  2. susielindau says:

    That is so cool hat you figured out your son is an empath. Does he dee things differently too? Like colors for music or tastes for certain names?
    Glad you survived Mother Nature!

    • I’m still figuring him out, but he feels other people’s emotions. He’s a human lie detector. He can “talk” with trees and animals when he wants to. He can sometimes see spirits; more so when he was younger I think. Because he’s so aware of other people’s feelings, he tries to make people happy who are sad. Even did this when he was just a little tyke at the playground. He and I have both had experiences of smelling things that weren’t there, like the cigarette odor from a friend who died. I smelled it and was confused as to why I was smelling cigarette smoke in my house. It was the kid who immediately recognized it as Uncle Ricky’s cigarettes. He doesn’t do the synesthesia (I think that’s what it’s called) thing of tasting colors or seeing music or blending 2 different senses. I am also empathic, but not to the extent of my son. I’m a pretty good lie detector too. It is sooo good to have power and water back.

  3. emjayandthem says:

    I love that your little man jumped in to help save the day. I love even more that, as his Mom, you know the situations that are best for him and foster him going for it – that is such a confidence builder, and he’s going to need lots of that heading into middle school now 🙂 You’re not far from my B.C. family who were also without power around the same time frame – big time storms and quite scary I can imagine! MJ

    • The kiddo sure was a rock star. I love seeing him be the capable young man he is. Yes, I’m only about 40 miles from the Canadian border. I hadn’t thought about my B.C. neighbors getting blasted by the storm, but of course they got it too. I hope their power has been restored too. It’s funny. Big storms here haven’t scared me yet, but the threat of flooding does, especially after the time I woke up to our house becoming an island over night. We sand bagged and pumped, and thankfully, our floor stayed dry (barely). The insulation under the house got wet and had to be ripped out. That’s what I get nightmares about.

  4. Good for him! He really shined during that outage. How scary to see so many trees down, though. Wishing Little Man much success this year. Funny you say he’s an empath. Without a doubt my son is too. I know you’ll find this interesting: I had a reading last year from a legit psychic and she was just astounded at the level of energy my son has, she kept telling me he’s a much much older soul and possesses extraordinary abilities psychic-wise. Of course, I knew he was like this all along. Funny how along with that sometimes comes anxiety and struggling to fit in socially (something I have myself) I just keep on encouraging him to be himself — which is a beautiful, sweet boy.

    • Yes. Our boys are extremely psychic and carry a butt ton of energy in those bodies (I was going to say little bodies, but my son is not little at all!). My kiddo has what I’ve come to know as a Christened heart. He carries and lives the energy of the Christ. It’s pure heart and pure love. Because of it, he’s such a “good kid” who is always trying to cheer up people who are sad (me included). One of his big lessons is learning about his own energy field: what’s his responsibility and what’s not his to take on. He takes everything on at this point. I believe the anxiety can come from taking on so much energetically that the brain can’t process and understand. And when it senses something it can’t put into a category, it denotes it as potentially dangerous, thus bringing up fear and anxiety. I’m looking forward to a good year at school. Met with his support team this morning and I have high hopes.

  5. I hope the first day at school went well and hope things are better for him in this new phase. He does sound like a very caring and capable boy. Hope the storm damage wasn’t too much in your area.

    • Thanks Andrea. So far, school is going well. He’s into his second day, and I met with his special education support team this morning. Great group, and I think they’ll work well with him this year. The photos I put up are from my street and the street off of ours. The damage directly on our property wasn’t too bad; just a bunch of branches down that we can easily pick up. Things are quickly returning to normal, with the power back on.

  6. sara says:

    That’s a wild storm! I love how prepared you guys are. I adore trees, but boy they can cause some damage! So sad to see those huge trees lying in the road like that. My son went on his highschool orientation on Friday (years 7-12 in Australia) and he loved it, the hour long bus ride and all. I have similar hopes for my son as well. I hope the first week was awesome xo

  7. janonlife says:

    Just caught up with this post! I’d heard about the wildfires and wondered how you were doing, but that storm must have really been amazing. We’ve just had endless rain here – not good for me, as the stream from Chalice Well (the one the Holy Grail is supposed to have been thrown into!) runs beneath my cottage, so the walls are very damp.
    I, too, am keeping fingers crossed for your boy at middle school. There will always be challenges, but school doesn’t last forever and he’s doing such an important job with healing and helping others – even if they don’t realise he’s doing it.
    Take care of you, too. Long live chocolate ❤

    • Sorry to hear about all your rain. My house is a bit damp as we are surrounded on 3 sides by extremely tall trees (100+ft) and mountains as well. We are on river bottom land with a stream quite close behind the house, a river about 200yds down the yard, and natural springs and underground streams all around our local area. We run a dehumidifier quite often. About the only time we don’t need it is when the wood stove is going.

  8. candidkay says:

    No muss and no fuss has a beauty I’ve only appreciated more as I’ve gotten older. And you’re raising him to get it! Bravo:).

    • Thanks Kris. I love it when the kid has a chance to shine. And so far, school is going pretty well. I don’t know if he’ll ever actually “like” it, but not hating it is progress around here.

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