To my sweet children,
You are so brave.
I know this move hasn’t been easy. I know at times you find yourself missing your friends, neighbors, classmates and school.
I would imagine life feels a little upside down right now.
It’s hard walking into a school for the first time down unfamiliar halls filled with unfamiliar faces.
It’s hard walking into the lunch room amidst the conversations and laughter. It’s hard to decide where to sit and who to sit next to – and when you finally do pick a place to sit, it can be hard to look someone in the eye and say, “hello.”
It’s hard to be in a new place you haven’t been before surrounded by people you don’t know.
It’s hard to be at recess and not know what to do, or who to play with.
It’s hard to leave the comfort of all that is familiar and enter into a sea of unknowns.
Yes, it’s hard. But do you know what?
You are brave. You are so brave. Here is how I know.
To my oldest:
I know it was hard on the first day when you stood alone at recess, but you didn’t let that stop you. The next day, you found someone to talk to. Each day, you will find more and more people. You will figure this out. You will make your way here. Just give yourself grace. Give yourself time.
Some days will be harder than others and that’s okay. Give yourself space to grieve when you need to. It’s okay to miss our old home. Also, give yourself permission to find joy here. That isn’t betraying our old home, or the friends we left. You haven’t lost your old friends, you are just finding more people to love.
I can see the look in your eyes when I drop you off in the morning. I know it is hard, but you’ve got this. Just be yourself, sweet girl. You are more than enough. Keep your positive attitude and before you know it, as impossible as it may seem, all that seems so foreign now will someday start to feel like home. You are so brave,
To my second:
I know you were scared yesterday at the end of the day when you weren’t sure how to get to the pick-up line. When you walked out of the school with tears streaming down your face I wanted to scoop you up in my arms and run you back to the car, but I knew you wouldn’t like that very much. I knew you were trying to conceal your tears and all that attention would just make things worse. Even though I wanted to run to you, I resisted the urge and walked calmly instead.
That’s one of the hard parts about being a momma when your kids are growing older. It’s hard to know when to give space and when to jump in, but I knew in that moment you wanted some space and I tried to give it to you as best as I could. I’m glad that you felt safe enough to really let those tears come in buckets when we were in the safety of the car, together.
There may be times in the weeks to come when you feel lost or unsure of what you are doing or where you are going. Know that the teachers and other staff in your school are there to help you. They are for you and they want to see you succeed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way. You will figure this out.
You have such a big heart and have already made a long list of friends in just a few short days. In fact, I will never forget when I picked you up from your new school on your first day – how you had to run back to give a new friend a hug. You are a little joy spreader. You’ve got this. Just keep being you. You are so brave.
To my third:
I know you miss home and your friends. I know lunch and recess have been a scary time for you. I see you trying hard to keep those tears in. Remember, it’s okay to cry. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to let those tears stream down your face and jump into the arms of someone who loves you and get lost in their cuddles and snuggles while you cry your heart out. Sometimes, the bravest thing to do is to cry. To be vulnerable. To let someone see your heart is hurting.
Before long, you will be excited to go to school. Just like you were before. It may take a little while to get there, but I believe you will. Look at what you’ve already accomplished! In just three days at this school, you’ve already figured out how to hang upside down on the monkey bars with NO HANDS! If you can do that in just three days, I am pretty sure you can do just about anything. You are so brave.
To my baby:
Sweet little boy. Today, when you climbed into the car with your Star Wars backpack and Super Mario lunch box you were so excited. You said you were a little nervous, but you hopped in the car with a determination and enthusiasm that made me excited for you. I hope you keep that enthusiasm and that excitement throughout life. Keep looking for the joy in the adventure. Keep facing new things head on just like you did today. You are so brave.
My sweet children, thank you for showing me what it looks like to be brave. I have been learning from you since the day you were placed in my arms. You teach me so many things about life that I never knew. I will be learning from you all of my days. I am sure of it.
It may be hard to be the new kid in a new school, but you can do this. You are doing it. Do you want to know something? This is hard for me too. I miss my friends and our old house. I miss our neighbors and the familiar streets. Do you want to know something else, even with all of that missing in my heart – there is an excitement too. It’s okay to feel both.
Just remember, regardless of what comes your way in life, always be who God made you to be. Never compromise who you are, or what you believe or know to be true in your heart, just to fit in. Be wonderful, fabulous, unique YOU.
Watching you face your fears has helped me to face mine.
We’ve got this. We can do it. One day at a time.
Together, we can be brave.
Jennifer Thompson is a stay-at-home mom of four sweet and sometimes a bit wild children. Like most parents, her life is spent managing the chaos to the best of her ability – some days are more successful than others. Recently relocated from Indianapolis to Nashville, she and her family are on the hunt for the best hot chicken in town. Life is full of ups and downs, and she hopes the words she writes will be a source of encouragement.
Jennifer enjoys writing about her parenting experience and life observations as a freelance writer, and keeps a personal blog at www.trulyyoursjen.com, where she has fun writing when time permits. You can find her on Twitter and follow her on Facebook