When Granger was a freshman, I was called into the vice-principal's office at least twice a month. Did I know Granger and his friends were dropping items off the bleachers to see how they'd crash? Watermelons, a gallon of pickles, an old microwave oven (they say) they found on the street?
Did I know that Granger and his friends brought plungers to school today? And that they were confiscated as possible weapons? And did I know that the boys went to the dollar store the next day and BOUGHT NEW ONES?
Did I want to see the videotape Granger's friends made of him trying to taunt a kid into fighting with him? (They were going to tell him he was on Candid Camera, I guess, before he really threw a punch.) That was a suspension, I think.
Could I please come to the PRINCIPAL's office to recover Granger's hat/skateboard/cell phone because it had been confiscated for improper use on campus. A hat? Improperly used? OK.
All these times, the vice principal counseled Granger: "It's time to stop acting like a freshman." Both Granger and I had a hard time stopping ourselves from saying "BUT HE IS A FRESHMAN." But we didn't say that, and he kept promising to stop acting his age.
Nearly at my wit's end, I was rescued by the school year's final day. As we rode in the car, he promised me he really would stop acting like a freshman, now. All I could think to myself was, "Yeah, but now he's going to be sophomoric."
Last year wasn't so bad, though. He got better grades, he got much better at hiding his pranks or doing them off campus, and I wasn't called into the office ONCE.
But now he's a junior. Eleventh grade. (See his fingers? Every year I had him hold out the number of fingers for the grade he was in. We both faltered a little this year when we realized he didn't have enough fingers, but we figured it out.) He will want to drive in about, oh, 26 days, not that I'm counting. I have made a deal that he can ONLY get his license if he pulls every grade to at LEAST a B. He agreed to that without comment except to say "That's fair." Gulp.
He's growing up too fast.