The boys were a little sad, back in Oklahoma, when all their friends were heading back to school and they weren't. School started 3 days before we moved. I thought, there is no way I was going to enroll them for 3 days... they will survive.
We got to Tennessee the middle of the next week, and as soon as we got into the house, we headed over the local school. They had actually started 3 weeks earlier -- but I wasn't too concerned with my kids being behind. After switching schools MANY times, they have learned to adjust pretty quickly.
So, we showed up at the school to get the paperwork and get it going. (It was a Thursday) They said if I got all the work in by the next day, the boys could start the following Monday.
They were so excited to go, they could hardly stand it!
Monday FINALLY came!
Ben and I took them the first day so we could meet their teachers. It all went smoothly and we told them we would meet them at the bus stop after school. They could care less. They were eager beavers to get to work and making new friends.
I am really proud of my boys. It isn't easy to start a new school... every year. Sam is just starting 3rd grade and has already attended 5 schools. FIVE! That's a lot for a little guy, especially one with some special needs. This will be Nephi's 4th school.
I had a reporter call me a few weeks ago. She wanted to know what it was like being a military family and moving around a bit. She was writing an article on the effects it had on kids. We chatted about it for a bit and I explained to her that my kids are actually pretty good sports about it. She then asked me what my secret is... What? I don't have a secret... She laughed and asked if I had any tips I could share. The only one I could think of was this:
As a parent, it's up to us to set the example. If we are bummed about a move, don't let your kids see it... because they will be bummed too. Every chance I got, I would tell my kids what an adventure it is that we get to move around! How awesome for us to have friends in SO MANY states! How cool that we can start over so many times and have new opportunities! I would point out all the cool things in the new area we were moving to. Like for Sam, he is old enough for scouts, but there wasn't much of an opportunity for him to do it in Oklahoma, but HERE in Tennessee our church does it! So he was SUPER excited for that! And any time they started to feel a little down, I would remind them of all the cool stuff we were going to do and see... and how our NEW house has stairs! (That's really important to them)... and as soon as we get grass in the back, we will get a play set!
If we as parents are excited, it's super contagious to the little ones.
Was I sad to leave? Yeah I was! One friend, in particular, was extremely hard to leave, and I cried. And my kids saw. They asked me why I was sad. I said, "I am going to miss my friends, but I am also happy because I know I will see them again!"
It works for us.
They still miss their old friends, but they are having WAY too much fun to worry about it too much.
That first day of school, they got off the bus grinning ear to ear! They were SO HAPPY! Nephi had made a new friend, and Sam proudly announced that he had 3 new girlfriends... typical. Their teachers have been great and the boys adjusted pretty dang quickly to the new rules, new school, and new teaching methods. I know they are going to be just fine.
Honestly, though, I don't think anyone was excited to see them come home than little Jake. He was DEVASTATED when we left them at school... he wanted to stay with them so badly. Poor little guy. But it only took him a couple days of them leaving and coming home to get used to it.
Adjustments for everyone!
As for me? I am beyond thrilled they get to take the bus! I have been taking and picking up so long, it's been such a hassle. I was super worried about what I was going to do after the baby was born if I had to take and pick up... it's super hard on feeding and sleeping schedules. So the bus thing... well, it takes away a TON of stress on my part. AND they love it! They think it's the coolest thing in the world... so all is well.
PS: I wanted to give a quick shout out to Staples for the AMAZING back to school package they sent us! We are beyond thrilled with the new backpack, lunch box, and Kindle Fire! To us, it wasn't just a back to school package, it was a housewarming gift as well! Got to us the first day the kids went back to school. So FUN! So a huge thanks to them for their support of families, and in our case, military families.