Growing into Spring

If you work in a middle school like I do and you pay attention to rather obscure things like I do, you might notice that this is the season of the year when you’ll likely be seeing more ankles than you have for quite some time.

It’s not because these students are wearing shorts already (although there is some of that going on). And it’s not because they’re getting ready for a flood. It’s because they’ve grown over the winter, and many a pair of pants tell the tale.

No, these teens and pre-teens have grown over the winter, and now in many cases their pants are just too short, so their ankles and/or socks and/or shoe tops now show. Not that it seems to worry any of them, but I do notice such things. Just think–now they’re ready for spring puddles.

I notice, too, that they’re getting taller when they come through the serve line, and some can now look above the sneeze guard instead of struggling to be heard around it or under it. You can tell that the boys are growing now, too, because those voices we hear suddenly are deeper for the older boys.

When you’re growing like this, it just about requires some new clothes, a fact that probably sounds fun to the teen but not so much to the poor parent who has to bankroll the shopping trip.

I never have been a big shopper, and my children tell me now that shopping excursions with me when they were growing up weren’t always fun. While I enjoyed the outing part of it–going out for lunch, just being away for a day-I must admit that the selection process was pretty stressful for me. I guess that came across to my shopping partners.

Such shopping trips were always preceded by what I liked to call our annual Try-On Party. That’s when I would haul out the seasonal clothes that I had stored away six months before. I never quite decided whether I was glad when lots of clothes fit or they didn’t. Based on what we discovered, we would be able to decide what was needed to clothe everyone for another season or two.

Of course, we didn’t always agree on what was needed, which may be the case with these middle schoolers and their parents today, too. I just hope they can replace the high-water, too-tight pants. Probably the move will be toward long, baggy shorts.

Perhaps it helps to focus on the fact that these healthy, young bodies are growing stronger and taller. That’s not the case everywhere in this world, you know.