“As they reach middle school, children drift away from the pure play of running in the yard at recess or building with Legos. Middle school brings the beginnings of puberty for some, first crushes for many, and a shift from child to teenager for all. It brings higher levels of academics. But if you want to know whether your child is going to be happy or miserable, confident or anxious, being a fly on the wall at lunch would probably tell you a lot.” Lydia Denworth in The Atlantic: The Outsize Influence of Your Middle-School Friends. (My middle school friends are still my adult friends. We used to think that was due to the combination of a deep connection and extreme loyalty. Then we realized we all had something in common: An inability to make new friends as adults.)