Last Spring I saw an event in the local park district brochure called "Music Mixer." It was a Friday evening activity for fifth through seventh graders. I immediately knew the girls would want to go.
They have been talking about school dances for years now. They want nothing more than to go to a mixer with kids from a bunch of schools. The Music Mixer wasn't a dress-up and dance event as much as a safe, fun place for kids their age to hang out.
Summer passed and I forgot about the Music Mixer. One day the girls came home so excited they were about to burst. They received a handout about the Music Mixer, which took place the next evening. Even better, they gave other friends the handouts since those girls didn't receive one in class.
I went online and found the information. I emailed their friends' parents information about the event. We made plans for the girls to go together. The girls were set.
For the next 24 hours, all they could talk about was the mixer. They discussed outfits, hair, shoes. They knew it wasn't fancy, but they spent as much time as they would have for a formal dance.
When I dropped off the girls I spent some time catching up with other parents. Our school district has two elementary schools feeding into one middle school. Some of the parents from the other elementary school hadn't seen our girls for several years. No one could believe how grown-up our girls looked. Even as all the kids get older, our girls seem just a bit older than their peers. Maybe it's because they are so tall or because they have such lovely, long hair. Whatever it is, we hear "they can't be 11 years old" often.
The girls were waiting when I arrived after the mixer. They all talked at once, which made me laugh. I hardly understood them until I said, "Ok, would you do it again?" They all said yes. The brunette twin summed up the event by saying, "After the initial awkwardness it was really fun." I smiled. A middle school mixer should be a sweet combination of awkward and fun.