Watching my grandson Jonathan walk across the stage of his middle school graduation last week made me incredibly proud. He is a strong and talented young man, and I know he’ll thrive in high school. That being said, I remain a little troubled by his arson streak.
Middle school is one of the toughest times in a young person’s life. Between the changing friendships and difficult academics — not to mention the hormones — middle school is just plain difficult. And Jonathan has handled it all with such poise. Except for his bad habit of dealing with his issues by starting fires. Last month, for example, he wasn’t awarded a purple belt in karate and he snuck out in the middle of the night to set fire to the studio. Something about that just doesn’t bode well with me. Even though he otherwise knocked middle school out of the park.
I’m so proud of Jonny for all he’s accomplished: he starts for the basketball team and plays cello brilliantly. He just has a little difficulty accepting compromise. Last week, for example, when he came over for dinner, he was quite disappointed that I made green bean casserole — not one of his favorite meals. Instead of telling me politely, I caught him with a lighter trying to set my living room on fire. I find that a bit concerning.
Jonathan and his sister Kayla are the lights of my life and I cherish them each and every day. They are my pride and joy. And I was reminded of that seeing him walk across that stage and accept his middle school diploma. He’s just gotta kick that fire-starting habit. That’s it.
I can’t wait to see what he does in high school and beyond. I just hope he stops setting buildings on fire.