Tuesday, August 25, 2015

we are going to be okay

Two weeks ago we found out that the small private school all our boys have
attended since kindergarten would be closing.
We would need to find a new school for Will and Addie.
This resulted in a great amount of anxiety and tears.
And that was just me.
We loved that school and those teachers like family.
We are missing them like crazy.
We have been praying that every teacher would find a job
and that every child would find the perfect school for them.

It is strange kind of grief...losing the familiar and being flung in a new direction.
We held the boys as they wept and shared their fears with us.
About not knowing anyone and wondering if their new teachers would let them be funny.
Funny is important around here.
Then we prayed for peace and direction and I went looking for chocolate.
Because chocolate can soothe the soul at times.

In an amazing door that only God could open,
we found that the school Jack would be attending for high school
had space in their middle and elementary school.
And that we had about 5 days to get ready for the first day of school.
New friends. New teachers. New routines.
And a half hour drive to school.

On our drive that first day of school, Scott was talking up a storm
pumping up the boys, encouraging them.
And I was quiet.
Because I was reliving all my first day at a new school moments
in my own mind.

I was remembering the thumping of my heart
 that I was sure everyone could see through my shirt.
The prick of tears in the corners of my eyes as I watched my mom walk away.
And the great hope that I would find a friend to eat lunch with.
I changed schools about 6 times from kindergarten to high school.

In fifth grade when I changed from private to public school,
I was so excited I could hardly stand it. I wanted to go to a big school.
I had begged my parents to let me go there.
And when I got there I was so anxious it made me throw up.
I have some over active nerves, folks.
The shift from a sheltered Christian environment
to a school where the 6th graders were as big as college students
and cussed when they got out at 4 square was a shock to the system.

After about a week of being sent home in the afternoon with stomach issues,
my teacher, Mrs. Cox, took me into the bathroom.
There was not one thing that I didn't like about Mrs. Cox.
I loved being in her class. Her kindness. Her love of books.
The no nonsense way that she ran her class and the way that she let us learn math
at our own speed.
I especially liked that she spoke to us like we mattered.
I don't know how she ascertained what was stressing me out
but she was one of those teachers who looked at each of us like we were individuals.
She cared about us.
She cared about me and my weird stomach.

I could tell when she pointed to the cuss words written
on the bathroom wall and then covered them with her hand.
She told me,
"I don't like these words either. But you? You are going to be okay."
And she was right. I was.
Soon the stomach cramps stopped and the light began to shine.
It was going to be okay. I was going to be okay.
I knew it to be true. Mostly, because Mrs. Cox said so.
And 5th grade was hands down my favorite year of school. Ever.

I told this to Mrs. Cox when we met up and went out to coffee last year.
I told her the story of the cuss words on the bathroom wall and she laughed.
"I don't remember that at all."

But the thing is...I did. And I do.
That 2 minute pep talk in the stinky bathroom of Vine Hill Elementary
grounded me in hope.
And that is the place I am planting my feet this week.
In hope.
For good things. And great teachers. And new friends for my boys.

The first week has been a little rough.
The boys are tired and a little more than stressed out.
Dressing down for PE is enough to crush the strongest young spirit.
The tears have not subsided yet.
There have been upset stomachs (yep, I passed on the anxious gene)
and angry outbursts and on Sunday Addison asked me,
"Mom, can you home school me?" (Not an option.)

But I know this.
Nothing ever stays the same.
Life is about change.
Good things are almost always hard.
And sometimes being launched in another direction can open us up to
a new way of trusting Jesus.
(As in, "Sweet Jesus, Help Us NOW!)

And then there is that deep school bathroom truth that I keep reminding
myself of when I see the uncertainty written on my boys faces.
It may be a little wild and unsettling right now but it won't always be that way.
They are going to be okay.
We are going to be okay.
Mrs. Cox says so.


Lindsey Smallwood said...

Nothing ever stays the same, aint that the truth, sorry for the scool drama but I love your story - and YOU! :)

Mary Martha said...

We are :-)