As a kid, moving into a new home is very exciting. But, moving to a new state, going to a new school, making new friends, literally new everything, you will probably get nervous and be scared at some point. I’ve been there and I put my kids through the same thing, fortunately.
In 1992 the United States Navy gave my dad two options, transfer from the Philadelphia ships yards to California or Jacksonville, Florida. My parents made the choice to stay on the East Coast and we made our way to the Sunshine State. My sister and I were thrilled to have a new home, the beach, and warm weather! But the reality of the move hit me when I had to enter a new school in the middle of the year, as a first grader.
It wasn’t easy, but I hid my fears and powered on because I had a younger sister in Kindergarten and I didn’t want her to see I was scared. On the first day, my teacher asked me to read the words on the board, I didn’t know a single one! And as I sounded them out I teared up. She knew I was hurt so she took us to the playground. There I met Haley, a blonde, smiling, spunky girl who seemed to know everyone. I don’t remember what we said or what we played, but we were inseparable after that day. She was the one thing I needed to help me get through that first day in a new school. She’s still my BFF, the God Mother of my son, and my kids “Aunt Haley,” 27 years later.
Fast forward to 2018, my husband and I are in the same predicament. We had a choice to move for a better opportunity for our family and we would be moving to a new city smack dab in the middle of my daughter’s first-grade year and our son’s pre-K 4 school year. We had plenty of reservations. My parents were our neighbors (yes, we consider that lucky), we had my sister and brother-in-law for support, friends, great neighbors, and the kids had Aunt Haley. We were about to pick up our secure and supportive lives and move 6 hours away to north Georgia. We were also about to put the kids in the same reality that I had over 27 years ago and I started to hesitate.
In the end, our choice was clear, we made the move to Alpharetta in January 2018. We did it so our kids would have more opportunities by living near a bigger city, more friends of different nationalities and races, and more choices of activities. Most importantly, we gave them a way to grow in their own way and overcome something that isn’t easy to do, moving. They built confidence in themselves meeting our new neighbors and walking into a new school. They also had to learn to adjust, take a new direction and “go with the flow.” These are all things moving did for them and I’m so glad we did.
They both grew up so much this year as they literally dove right into our new life here. We hope they are grateful for the choices we made for them. Looking back, I am so grateful my parents made the choice they did and moved me in the middle of my school year.