The fine folks at my daughter's school have been sponsoring "Girl Talk" to help the middle schoolers cope with all the angst that comes with puberty and middle school. It's led by a high school girl with the idea that the junior high kids can connect with one of their own.
It's a great idea and one that I think any parent would appreciate. It's been going on for years, and if I remember correctly, my friend Peter Lazarz actually was one of the teen lecturers back in the day. I'm pretty sure they only let him talk to the boys, though...
Anyway, when it came up as an option, Alison was adamant that she did NOT need to attend. She has her moments struggling with how to deal with this particular stage of her life, of course. It's part of the passage no one escapes.
But she had zero interest in sharing any of that stress with anyone who she might run into the next day. Jenna is her primary go-to. She shares with me, too. Sometimes. While I'd love to believe she tells me EVERYTHING, I'm happy to get the intel I do right now. And I'm doing everything I can to keep the information flow going.
So even though I told her she could skip Girl Talk, I do still encourage her to reconsider going. I mean, I know I know everything she could possibly ever need to know, and I DO want to be her primary source of information big and small. But a little extra information can't hurt, right?
So while we feasted on Zheng Garden's finest take-out this evening, I noted my latest e-mail alert from school.
"You're still not going to Girl Talk, right?" I asked with zero inflection.
She slurped up some lo mein. "Oh, I go sometimes," she said, focused on the latest installation of Total Drama Action on her iPad.
"What!?" I shrieked. I mean I responded with no escalation of interest in my voice whatsoever. I can be cool.
"Yeah. I've been to about three of them," she said, still slurping and focused on the antics of animated people who are competing for $1 million ala Survivor and whose theme song is, "I wanna be. I wanna be. I wanna be famous."
I looked at her. "When did this start?" I asked, recalling her arguments over why she didn't care to be in a room full of other girls talking about "feelings and stuff like that."
"I dunno," she shrugged. "I go for the free food."
"Well, what do you talk about? What kinds of topics are covered? What do you LEARN about?" I asked.
She looked up, finally.
"Well," she deadpanned. "I learn about how to score free food."