I’m recording my youth, one year per week. This week I’m talking about life in the 7th grade (age 12).
As a mother of daughters in the 6th and 9th grades, it is a little disconcerting to think back on my middle school and high school years. Granted, like my own daughters, I was a good kid and rarely got into trouble. However, by the time I entered the seventh grade, I was officially boy crazy.
I remember spending a good portion of my time, both in and out of school, thinking and dreaming about my latest crushes. I wrote and passed lots of notes (yes, I would have been a big texter if cell phones had been around in the late 80s). Because I never acted on my crushes at this age (in other words, my crushes lived only in my dreams and notes), they tended to last for a long time. I also had a tendency to become really good friends with the boys I liked, which worked both for and against me. On one hand, I had a lot of time with the boys I liked. They liked me….well enough to confide in me and tell me who they were crushing on….
At the beginning of my 7th grade year, my family had moved to a new home and I had left my childhood home and elementary school behind for a new start. I loved my new house and my new school, but I especially loved feeling like I was growing up. With a bedroom all to myself, a new type of school to attend, and a new set of friends to spend my time with, I felt like I had the world at my fingertips. After I turned 12, I was given permission to start wearing limited make-up (blue eye liner and mascara were a particular favorite), and I distinctly remember the day during the Summer after 7th grade when my friend and I went to the County Fair together. The children’s admission price was good for children up to 12 years, and so I told the lady at the ticket booth that I was 12 (in fact, it was several months before I was to turn 13). Not only did the lady not believe me, but she said, “If you’re really 12, you should have left your make up at home!” and made me pay the adult admission price. My mom was so upset when I told her at the end of the day that she took me back to the ticket booth and complained til we were given the difference back. Remember that, Mom?
My youngest sister was born the summer between 6th grade and 7th grade (right before our move) and I remember feeling like a little mommy to her, since I was old enough then to babysit and really help Mom out. I loved having another baby sister! My sister S, who was just 4 years younger than me, and I were taking piano lessons together, and we were able to play several duets together during the year.
When did you start wearing make-up, and were you as boy-crazy as I was in 7th grade?
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