Every now and then something happens that makes me realize how difficult those tween years are for kids. They’re no longer little kids and they aren’t quite teens.
Halloween provided a painful reminder of that at my house. The high school senior had decided to throw a party and for days he was decorating, drawing up the menu and texting his invitations. I, too, was preoccupied with plans for the teen invasion.
A few times I asked my tween what he wanted to do for Halloween, but he gave me no response.
When the day arrived, he got out of bed and complained he had no costume to wear. He wanted me to go to the store to buy something for him for that night, but I said he had missed his chance. He was too late asking for a costume and he would have to make do with the many costumes we have from previous years.
That didn’t go over very well, and that evening, his mood worsened. While big brother’s friends began to show up at the door, the tween had no one to hang out with. He said no one had invited him to go trick-or-treating and he hadn’t asked anyone to go with him. By then, small children were trolling the neighborhood and ringing the doorbell.
The tween ended up watching television alone in the family room while I handed out the candy at the door and kept the party trays filled for the teens. When I did get an occasional break and tried to keep my younger son company, he said I made him feel worse.
I was relieved when the trick-or-treaters stopped coming and when the last of the party guests left.
I’m not overly worried about my tween. He usually is very social and I remember that his older brother went through similar experiences in middle school and turned out just fine.
But sometimes, I have to admit, being a tween is no fun.