A New School Year in a New School - Navigating the New to Find the Familiar
Last week marked the start of a new school year. For my kids, that meant a new year at a new school.
Anticipating all new teachers and students, new rules, and the challenge of navigating a new building, they seemed excited, but also a bit nervous. My daughter imagined the scariest part would be lunch… “Who will I sit with?” she asked?
Bridging the Gap Between BackgroundsI went to the same school from Kindergarten to Senior Year - never moved (other then to swap rooms with my sister down the hall), never had to deal with changing schools…I certainly never thought about where I would sit at lunch or who I would talk to.
I realize my kids' lives are in stark contrast to my own, growing up a country girl in Ohio; yet, I envy them and the future ahead. They were tiny when we moved from Ohio to Massachusetts so the transition was easy for them. I struggled the first year, but once I realized my unhappiness stemmed from resisting the change, things got easier. Once I fully embraced all the newness around me, I came to love New England and was heartbroken to move four years later.
Although I had grown up and lived in the same state for 26 years, since marrying my husband I have moved six times in 17 years. So, I actually do know a thing or two about newness!
Building Muscle with Every Move
People often say how hard it must be to move and start over. Yep! It’s hard, but it also builds strength and character. I have met so many amazing people and so have my kids. They now have friends in Hopkinton, MA that they text and Face Time with on a regular basis. They have friends in Ohio where we spend weeks in the summer hanging at my dad's farm. They have friends in Naperville, which became home three years ago. And now we are moving again…although not far in distance but to a new school district, which means all new, and lots of changes!
Now that my kids are older, going into 6th (Jr. High! YIKES!), 5th, and 2nd grades, there is a lot of anxiety in our house. I tell them that this latest move is an amazing opportunity to be whoever they want to be. No one knows you yet, so go take on the world any way you want! Not proud of something in the past? Now is your time to be the best version of yourself. #justdoyou as we say at STRONG self(ie). Be who you want to be!
Guts and Goals
We have talked a lot about goals for the school year and what each of them hopes to accomplish. A new year, a clean slate…what will your story be at the end of the year? As I chat with my kids, I am also making goals. How much will I volunteer at the new school? Do I want to be a room mom again? Should I help with the fundraiser?
As we get older and our lives change, so do our priorities. I no longer feel like I have to do it all and I have zero guilt about saying “no” when things are not a good fit. Of course, it’s hard to teach our kids this lesson because they are young and want do it all!
For this new school year, in this latest new school, I can only hope that my children embrace this experience to grow and spread their wings. Take all the new and use it to do great things. So to answer my daughter's question about who to sit with at lunch…well, my sassy Scarlett, wherever you sit and whomever you sit with…#justdoyou and #strikeyourstrongselfie and all the new will soon fade to familiar in no time at all.
Now go out there, parents + kids, and have a fantastic year!
Mom of three. Married to Mark for 17 years. Co-Founder of STRONG self(ie) a subscription box for girls ages 8-17. Owns her own interior decorating business.