Starting the worrying early. Why not?

It's okay if I do a little posting about the wee one today, isn't it?

I'm sure it will seem a little neurotic to admit I worry about things like how Mabel will fit in at school when the time comes. I mean, come on, she still has a few years to get there. I know that worry boils down to my own public school misery.

Some of my misery was the result of being painfully becoming aware around 8 or 9 years old of acceptance and being cool.

Some of the misery came later, in junior high, when I moved to a racially divided school (racial tension was a concept foreign to me most of my life, one that I'm only now realizing was part of my discomfort in school.) It was also the time where kids were labeled cool or nerd. Hormones were flowing, boys were sometimes sexually aggressive in an innocent enough way that the ol' "boys will be boys" excuse seemed to work. Daily fist fights in the hall kept the atmosphere tense, especially the few times teachers were injured breaking kids up. Random acts of bullying were not unheard of.

And this was your average suburban/urban bus-in public school. Not necessarily a poor one, not in a bad part of town. Just one of the few junior high schools in Charlotte, NC.

Hell yeah, I worry. I worry that my own ideals might prevent her from feeling accepted. I worry that she'll have similar experiences that will affect her confidence, inhibit her experiences, and cause a sometimes painful awareness of her body as it travels throughout this space.

Admitting any of this is pretty hard, but somewhat necessary for me to grasp the role of what being a parent can actually entail. It also reminds me of this post from Pacing the Panic Room,  which gives me hope she'll go to schools filled with Tessas. It kind of makes me feel slightly less neurotic.


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