Wednesday, July 30, 2014

To be the "new kid" is very intimidating. I don't like being the "new kid" as an adult. And so I can empathize with the situation that my children are currently working through. I'm also amazed by and admire how my children have already struck out on their own to begin to build new relationships.
Last night my 13yo was invited to a gathering at the youth pastor's house of a church that we have attended 1 Sunday by another 8th grader that attends the church regularly. She has met a few kids, but not enough to be certain she would know anyone at the gathering. She went anyway. I pulled up to the house and asked if she wanted me to walk up with her and I could just act like I wanted to speak with the youth pastor, just to make sure she felt comfortable staying. She gave me a confident answer of no, she'd be ok and out the door she went. As I watched her walk up, I just kept thinking how brave and confident she appeared at that moment. Three hours later it was time to pick her up and she talked all the ay home...not sure she took a breath. :) My heart was joyful for her. She had spent the evening discussing God's word and in the midst of sharing her heart, felt like she had found a place to fit in.
I have thought a lot about my freshman year of high school. My brother was a senior when I was a freshman. I attended the same school district my whole life. And yet, with both of those factors, I was still nervous about transitioning to high school. My oldest daughter will be a sophomore this school year. I'm amazed at her poise, wittiness and strength. There have been several moments this summer where I have watched her not let being the "new kid" stop her from being part of things she loves. One week after we began moving, she was off to an overnight camp with the varsity basketball team, when there have been open fields for soccer, she has shown up, and when one of the girls from her bball team invited her to a birthday party, she went. She's slowly finding her place too.
My son is 10 and will be playing football this fall. This week was his first official practice. As I pulled up to practice I said I would walk up with him till it was time to start and make sure he was ok before I left to run some errands. His response with a giant smile, "Nah, I'm ok. I'm good." His jumped out and headed up to join the group of players who were already huddled around talking.
 It does make a Mama's heart feel good about things when I see such confidence in my kids stepping out by themselves. It really only takes one or two people to make time to talk to the "new kid" to help ease nerves and make someone feel welcome. (I've been lucky to experience such moments for myself since the move.) It can be those small moments that are HUGE for someone else. Don't be too busy that you pass up the moment to be that positive change for someone new.


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