Originally published 10.01.2005.
October is the official “Month of the Young Adolescent.” Basically, that translates to, “Let’s give a shout out to middle schoolers,” since adults usually avoid them until forced to interact, like when the kid breaks a collar bone or melts down about her project due tomorrow.
Adults have even neglected to coin a decent name for this developmental stage; thus, these kids are awkwardly called “middle schoolers” at best, “Tweeners” at worst. Therefore, I proudly debut my name for this group: “Midkids,” signifying a niche smack dab in the middle, in a sort of developmental no man’s land.
Actually, this distinctive group defies a one-word name. It is multi-faceted, like phyllo dough, comprised of many layers forming one flaky entity. I say that lovingly because I currently parent a Midkid and work with about 30 in a weekly ministry. I know and love Midkids, in spite of their being “too big to act like that” but not big enough to do a lot of things unsupervised. Here are some lovable attributes of Midkids:
-They’re flexible. They go with the flow quite easily, as long as their friends are flowing down the same creek. Most Midkids travel in small chosen herds, which are best not disrupted for such trivialities as small groups or teams, as they become disoriented and suffer separation anxiety until reunited. That’s why Midkids love to do group community service projects; they get to work within the security of the pack while trying something new.
--They are passionate. Their famous emotional outbursts are often expressions of righteous indignation for others, namely friends. If someone is being slighted, Midkids often ardently take up the cause as their own.
--They’re compassionate. I’ve noticed that they don’t forget friends’ prayer requests and are eager to help the sick and needy, such as Katrina survivors.
--They love God. Many times I hear Midkids express their relationship with Him as “He’s my best friend,” and of course, to a Midkid, this is the ultimate compliment.
So here’s to you, Midkid—energetic, honest, energetic, faithful friend—did I mention energetic?
You are so fun!