When we first starting talking about moving (something I mentioned briefly last week, but haven’t really shared here), one of my main concerns was moving the girls in the middle of a school year. They would have to change schools and that made me nervous.
I realize kids are resilient and stronger than we know and blah blah blah, but I was still worried about it. I started kindergarten at the same house I lived in during my senior year of high school. I met friends when I was five I still see once a month at our First Thursday dinner. I know how wonderful it is to grow up with the same kids, the same families, the same houses.
I always thought that was what we’d be doing in Beech Grove.
But last fall we started talking about moving and then we started talking very specifically about moving into the house my grandparents had lived in for 40+ years and were selling. My grandpa passed away a few years ago and last fall my grandma made the hard decision to move out of the house that was too much for her to care for and into an assisted living community. Her heart hated to leave but her head knew it was right.
So through a series of things that had to fall exactly into place (and an early decision for us to acknowledge God was in control so if we were to move in the short amount of time we were attempting, He’d have to make it happen), we got our house ready to sell in November, listed it in December, accepted an offer less than three weeks later, and officially closed before January ended.
It was a whirlwind adventure. I’m sure I’ll write more about it soon.
About two weeks ago we moved to the country from our city home and this Monday, our girls started their new school. To say I was filled with worry and anxiety over this would be an understatement.
I don’t even know what going to a new school feels like. As a teacher, I get to see how the new kids handle new schools and it’s not always great. Transitions are hard. Being the new kid is hard. Kids are sometimes mean and sometimes not welcoming.
The minute we said we were moving, I asked God to make my daughters’ move to a new school seamless and painless. I asked very specifically for it to be exciting and fun and the best decision we could make for them.
A lot of our decision to move was for them. We wanted a bigger yard and more places to play. We wanted them to have their own rooms and more living space for us to be together. We wanted to be in a place that could be home for them and their friends, we wanted to be the house where kids hung out and kids were always spending the night. Our Beech Grove house made that very hard to do–we just didn’t have anywhere to put kids in sleeping bags and all the guests we’d love to house when they’re passing through Indy.
But the school change gave me a stomach ache anyway. I like to give my worries to God and then slowly take them back while making myself physically ill to show how much I care.
It’s a gift.
Last week the girls and I went to visit their new school. We met the principal, got a tour, picked up piles of paperwork to fill out, and discussed their Monday start date. We got bus information, after-school club options, and checked out the cafeteria. All the important things.
I had called beforehand to let them know we’d be coming so they had already assigned Ellie and Harper to their classes. As we toured the building, the principal made sure to introduce my daughters to their teachers, let the class know they were coming, and allow the girls to check out their new classrooms.
As the moments ticked by, I could feel the anxiety and stress I’d been holding in my shoulders, my neck, and my stomach slowly leave. I had been counting down the moments until they changed schools, constantly asking God to make this the right decision. I longed for them to feel at home instantly and here I was, standing in this school, while my daughter vibrated with excitement about their move.
And here’s the icing on the cake:
Ellie’s class was in gym when we stopped by. The principal told the class who Ellie was and that she’d be joining them on Monday. The class was standing in two circles getting ready to do an activity and after the principal shared his announcement, about half the girls in the class started jumping up and down and clapping and cheering for Ellie.
Let me say that again.
The principal introduced Ellie to her new class and the class cheered for her arrival.
I took about three shaky breaths and tried not to cry in front of all the second graders. I asked God to make this transition easy and fun, and He literally had kids CHEER FOR MY DAUGHTER when she arrived. I asked for it to be stress-free, and they welcomed her with over-the-top jumping up and down.
I don’t know those girls. I don’t know what they saw in my daughter’s arrival that made them cheer, but I know without a doubt God was telling me it’s going to be okay.
I asked Him to make this school change exciting and special and He answered with cheers and applause.
I mean, seriously. What a show-off.
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Laugh because once again, God reminded me He loves me (and those girls of mine) more than I’ll ever know and that fills me with joy. Or cry because what a sweet, sweet relief it was to see a visual reminder I’m not to worry, He will take care of all our needs, and He has better things in store than I could ever imagine.
Since that moment in the gym, there have been countless similar moments. From the principal meeting them as they got off the bus the first morning to walk them to their classes to my uncle texting me that he saw them both looking happy on the first day. To Ellie’s angry I made her wait until Monday to start (instead of letting her begin the day we visited) to Harper already having three best friends even though she doesn’t know any of their names.
I probably just need a good cry-laugh, actually. With some killer hip hop moves and a side of tap dancing. That about sums up my physical reaction to God’s grace and love.