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My Kid Started Middle School Today: Here Are My Top 20 Fears, In No Particular Order

  1. He wasn't raised right and that's on me, and now it's too late

  2. He'll get lost on his way to school and end up joining a band of nomads living off the land instead of going to Intro to Band

  3. He makes it to school, but ends up wandering around, trying not to cry, a tiny 6th grader in a sea of mean adults (8th graders)

  4. He'll be the weird nerd

  5. He won't be enough of a weird nerd

  6. There are stairs

  7. He'll be too lazy OR too anxious and self-critical

  8. He'll find out all his clothes suck and we have to buy new ones

  9. He'll miss the memo that his clothes suck and be forever known as "athleisure wear boy"

  10. He'll be bullied

  11. He'll be the bully

  12. All his teeth will fall out because I don't monitor his teeth brushing enough and it'll be on me that all he can eat is jello and mashed potatoes

  13. There might be a tick somewhere on campus and I didn't bug spray him

  14. He won't have enough food in his lunch and will get hungry and will sneak into the cafeteria and eat a slice of chocolate cake from the fridge but little did he know it was the headmistress's special chocolate cake and she'll have Cookie bake him another, enormous chocolate cake, and make him eat the whole thing in front of the entire school in an assembly.

  15. But little does she know that these kids are allies who will clap and cheer and encourage him and despite all odds, he'll finish that cake, the whole thing, the whole damned thing.

  16. Is SIDS still a concern at 11 years-old? Probably not, but I better leave it on the list.

  17. We recently made him watch the '90s Romeo + Juliet movie with Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio, and I'm afraid if he gets a crush on someone he'll try to woo them old school Verona style. Actually, I take it back. This isn't really a fear. This would be awesome. Just as long as it doesn't end in some sort of double suicide over miscommunication.

  18. He'll take a drink from his new water bottle but it will drip onto his pants in a way that suggests he wet himself and then he'll be forever known as "piss pants athleisure wear boy"

  19. His school is one of those sprawling California campuses like Neptune High (iykyk), so they eat lunch on grassy knolls and picnic tables outside, so he'll never get the character-building experience of eating lunch in a gymnasium that smells like feet.

  20. If all goes terribly, we don’t have local cousins so there’s no one I can pay to go to prom with him one day

  21. Bonus fear: Oh, God, deodorant?

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