I remember seventh grade vividly. And not just because that was the year of the Challenger space shuttle disaster (because it was carrying a teacher for the first time, we all watched in school). Or because it was also the year for a more local school disaster when the third-floor ceiling collapsed in our science room, trapping our teacher under rubble and seriously injuring her (thankfully, classes were changing at the time, so all of the students managed to get out, albeit barely).
Those were the obvious traumas. But there were so many other traumas that, while not life-or-death, sure felt like it at the time: bullying, frenemies, puberty.
Seventh grade is hard. I knew it would be hard on my daughter. But I didn’t expect it to be so hard on me, too.