School started last Monday. Where, oh where, did the summer go? Our girls are going to a different school this year. In all honesty, from the moment we got the letters informing us that they both had been selected by lottery to attend this new school, well, let’s just say, I have felt less than enthusiastic about it. Despite the fact that it’s a good opportunity for them for several reasons, it was harder for me to send them to this school than it was to send them to school for the very first time.
I couldn’t figure out why I was having such a hard time adjusting to the change. I went to nine different schools by the time I hit ninth grade, so it wasn’t a fear-filled how will they ever survive going to a new school? kinda thing. If I could survive all those school changes, my much more social youngsters would be just fine. Besides they were the ones who wanted to go to this school. I even get an extra hour to myself each day before I have to meet them at the bus stop. I honestly couldn’t figure out why I was feeling so cranky about it.
Then one day I had a sudden and strong dislike of our couch. I just had to get rid of that couch. A little after that, I didn’t like those shelves and all that stuff over there, they needed to go. My husband joked that he was glad I hadn’t yet decided it was time to get rid of him. Then the Saturday before school started, I spent the whole day rearranging the living room/kitchen area, throwing stuff away, moving things into the room that I should just call the storage room, even though it’s not. And I just hate this house now, we have to fix this and paint that and, oh my gosh, there is so much to do before we… uhh… move? Say what?
Ooooh, I think I know what’s going on now.
When I was a kid, three years was the longest my family ever lived anywhere (except for my high school years when my dad got an extension because of my health problems). One year, we lived in one house for four months, followed that up with a six month pause in another state before going to live in another country. Suddenly it occurred to me that my mind still equates going to a new school with “it’s moving time.”
Aaaah. The old military thing. Funny, I’ve been “out” of the Army now longer than I was “in”, so how is it possible that it is still so embedded after all these years? But, what a relief to get some understanding of what was going on within me.
Moving was not necessarily a bad thing. We got to live in some nice places, visit even more places, and meet some great friends along the way. However, moving was a stressful thing. All that packing, saying good-bye, wondering what the next group of people would be like, actually getting in the car or on the plane and going, living without your stuff for weeks unending, unpacking, saying hello and meeting new people, adjusting to new schedules, cultures, and things in general. It was a lot to deal with in a short period of time.
Even though, to my knowledge, we’re not actually moving anytime in the near future, I’m a little surprised to see how automatically I went into the motions of preparing to move simply because my children were going to go to a new school. The dots were so faded, it took a while to connect them to see what I was doing—a reaction I didn’t even know I still had in me. The subconscious is so fascinatingly weird.
Do you have times like this? No matter how old you are or how far removed from the source you are, something gets triggered and you start doing things and you can’t figure out why. Sometimes you don’t even know to ask what’s going on because it feels so familiar, but then after awhile, you begin to notice that something feels a little off.
I am aware of two or three things that cause me to start spinning on some level, so I try to keep myself in check when dealing with them. But this little nugget of changing schools caught me totally by surprise. I’m slightly amused by my reaction and how it brought forth the realization that this is a new school, again, for me. I have to adjust to a new principal, new teachers, unknown parents and kids, different rules and expectations and ways of doing things … all over again. Such familiar feelings of excitement mixed with dread.
But this time, I’m not doing it as a kid with no choices and no say.
The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out. Proverbs 20:5