As we passed through the gate, the panic flashed across her face like a runaway train, threatening to derail weeks of preparation and planning. The clutching of the leg – the filling of the eyes with tears – the quivering of the lip – these were the rumblings of the freight of fear that my daughter carried with her this morning. Just as her CareBears backpack was filled with supplies, her heart had been filled with anxiety… the first day at a new school…
She’s been doing great with this move to WestWay. I’ve been pretty proud to watch her cope with so much change all at once. But this morning was almost too much. You see, as we crossed into that overactive realm known as the playground, I realized, and Emily sensed that something wasn’t quite right. Today, on her first day in her new school, the one familiar face – the one beacon of comfort in this Kindergarten Sea of Adjustments – was noticeably absent. Her teacher (whom she met last week) was out for the day, and her class had a last minute substitute.
I watched Emily as the reality of her situation sunk in and she wanted more and more to be home. Home, where she knows she’s loved. Home, where she feels she’s safe. Home, where she understands that she is known. I took her in to class, where she was introduced, and stayed for a few minutes to reassure her (or maybe myself) that it would be ok. When I left, she was learning a new ‘good-morning song’ that her class sings. When I pick her up this afternoon, I’ll find out how it went after that.
Change is tough. It’s painful and scary. Isn’t it great to know that no matter how bad it gets, we’ve got a Father who’s willing to stoop down next to our little kindergarten chair and reassure us that things will be ok – He’ll be back to take us home.