Friday, May 18, 2012

A Weighty Subject and Middle School Boys

I was hanging with some middle school boys the other day.  After that experience I decided I have been wrong—men do grow up . . . somewhat.  If they stayed at middle school level completely, we would kill them! Men like my hubby maintain the enthusiasm for life and fun of kids while taking on adult responsibilities of job and family. When their hobbies include things that seem juvenile like paintball, we say they never grow up.  Some men do continue the emotional immaturity, but, wow, middle school boys can be quite surprising in packs! My boys can be such sweethearts, but I caught a glimpse of a "Lord of the Flies moment" recently.

Back to the middle schoolers I was hosting in my home. I was blogging silently and am sort of one of the boys because I fart and do tomboy stuff. So I was mostly invisible over here at the dining room table. Sometimes I think they forget I’m a woman and have certain things I don’t allow them to talk about.   They were talking smack about their classmates and the discussion almost exclusively focused on body weight for both boys and girls. Not that unusual unless you consider one of the kids talking smack would likely fall into the “morbidly obese” category and I know for a fact my own child falls into the “obese” category according to our teensy skinny pediatrician.  Ever the optimist, I had to speak up.  “Guys, can we focus our discussion on something other than peoples’ bodies for just one minute please?!”  Stunned, confused looks all around.   If you are “the fat kid” why would you join the madness by making fun other other kids for being overweight with your overweight friends? It just broke my heart for all kinds of reasons. First, that my kids and their friends were being callous.  Second, that this has to impact their self-esteem. And third, well . . . dang it, this just all seems so wrong somehow.  So I’m asking myself, how can we change society when I can’t seem to get through to my own kids and their friends about not judging people by their weight? But like I said, I'm an optimist and I keep trying 

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