Dear Jack: Your 1st Week of Junior High (6th Grade)

11 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

With this being your first full week of 6th grade, it became apparent to me after your first day:

Your version of 6th grade is truly Junior High… as compared to my version of 6th grade 30 years ago for the 1992-1993 school year.

The way you constantly change teachers for every single class actually reminds me of high school. When I was in 6th grade, I only remember switching teachers for 3 subjects.

But for you, you already have elective classes that change throughout the year.

And you love it! You are so happy to be in Junior High!




Dear Jack: Orientation for Starting Junior High – 6th Grade

11 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

I’m honestly surprised I was able to get you to smile for this picture last night at your 6th grade orientation.

Like clockwork, you’re switching over to the mindset that your dad isn’t cool.

Granted, your main reason in feeling this way is because I am known for talking to random strangers about Enneagram and you’re tired of hearing about it!

Fair enough.

But I do know that you are truly excited about the challenge of starting Junior High.

It was a family affair as we took you to try out the lock on your locker.

And this begins you constantly changing classes for every period.

I am excited for you!

Even if I embarrass you now simply for being your dad!



The Irony of Praying Before a Meal of Junk Food

Bless this greasy burger and these Twinkies to the nourishment of our bodies and our bodies to your service…

Saying the “blessing” before a meal is a complicated and trying process when there is a group of three of more people. I was made most aware of the awkwardness/intenseness involving the procedure during my Junior High and High School years with my church youth group. It always amused me that we were constantly eating fast food and asking God to bless it to the nourishment of our bodies.

The intensity of it is this: I was a hungry kid with a high metabolism. There was food in front of me, but I couldn’t eat it because I had to wait for everyone to be ready for the prayer. That’s cruel for a kid of any age. (Even at 28.)

The awkwardness of it is this: No one knew who was going to be asked to pray. There’s a bit of a short waiting game as the Designated Pray Person is elected. (And by now, I’ve learned to elect myself.)

But for those who suffer, there is mercy. I’m referring to the It’s Okay to Eat Fries, Peanuts, and Chips & Salsa Before the Prayer rule. For some reason, God isn’t concerned with us not asking his blessing for unofficial appetizers. However, if there is an actual appetizer, like a Blooming Onion for example, a prayer of tha

nksgiving and blessing is required.

And one must always be aware of the Salad Bar Clause. When dining at a restaurant with a salad bar or optional buffet of any kind, it’s important to make sure that someone prays before the first person leaves to go to the buffet. Otherwise, everyone will be obligated to wait for the buffet-goers to get back to their seats before the prayer can be said and everyone can begin eating.

Such anxiety! It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world.