It's a hard lesson to learn. I'm sitting outside in the hallway with one of my 6th graders who was just reminded that he was, after all, not allowed to attend the middle school dance. I'm trying to imagine how he feels. I wonder if he's reflecting on his rude and disrespectful behavior which landed him in this predicament or if he is even able to weight consequences. Yes, he is. He has to be because he really turned himself around this week and put on his maturest twelve year old pants and tried to make good choices. But in the end- he did it to himself. If you do good things, you get good things. If you do bad things, you get bad things. That's how its explained in Kindergarten and its true all throughout life.
It has to be hard. At this age, the school Valentine's Dance is a really big deal in a twelve year old's life. Even at my age the Valentines Dance is a big deal and I'm only chaperoning. You can feel the energy in the room when they walk through the door. Its a mix of nerves, hope, curiosity, excitement, wonder, and awkwardness. Mostly awkwardness. I still get the "what do I do with my hands?" feeling when I am in there watching them. It makes me appreciate being an adult and the opportunity to partake in a beverage before and during such an affair. I guess you have to pay your dues in age before you earn the privilege of liquid courage.
Back to him... Poor guy, he was just getting to know the pretty new girl in our class and I know they have a little spark for one another. I bet this was going to be his opportunity to make his move. They were partners on the field trip earlier this week and I could tell he was feeling on top of the world. Most of the paragraphs he has to compose for me during our writing time have to do with how smooth he is with the ladies. The last one was entitled, "Fly Guy."
Tonight I'll be going to the dance and he won't. My hope is that he has learned that behaviors have consequences. And I hope he makes the next one and gets to experience all the magic.