A few years ago, our son and DIL bought their first house and spent most of Christmas moving in. This was the fifth move for them since they got married, and the third move for Arianna, their daughter.
While Arianna was simply thrilled to be moving out of the apartment and into a house with a yard and a room bigger than a breadbox, it wasn’t without its turmoil. First there was the clearing out. She had to go through her things and learn to discard things that, while important to her heart, were definitely outgrown.
There was one box for the attic, another box for the Goodwill and a box for just plain trash. It was explained that if it only has three wheels, it has to go. If it is missing any major part (like a battery cover…duct tape does not count as a cover) it has to go. If it has an odd odor because it’s been left out in the rain one time too many, it has to go.
Anna said it seemed every time the “got to go ” box got full, it would mysteriously lose about half its contents when her back was turned. Before it was over, Arianna was banished to Aunt Debra’s so that the job of seek-and-discard could go on unabated.
So, the move was accomplished by the time school had closed for the Christmas break and Arianna had said goodbye to all her school friends. She would be starting a new school in her new neighborhood when the break was over. The good thing was her cousin Zach would be in her school, though not in her same grade. The bad thing was this was her third “new school” and she told me she was going to miss her friends.
I reassured her that she would be making new friends, and that now she would have friends she could carry with her through adulthood. I knew what she meant, having been “the new girl” so many times myself. And of course her daddy knew the feeling…military kids learn to adjust much earlier than regular kids. (And here you were thinking all kids were regular.)
Being the “new kid in school” can be a daunting experience. You go in a stranger amongst kids who have gone through school together since nursery school, cliques have already been formed and it’s hard to break into the inner circle. I knew what Arianna was about to go through, but I knew too that she’s a self-confident little girl who could work through the difficulties.
Arianna called us Friday night. She was at her Aunt Debra’s and said she was feeling lonely for her grandpa (no, my feelings were not hurt) and wanted to talk to him. I asked her why she was at Aunt Debra’s and she told me that her mom and dad were having Date Night. I had to laugh…Mac and I have Date Night every Friday, too.
So I put Mac on and he chatted with her for a bit and then he put me back on with her. I asked how school was going and she told me fine. She began to tell me about this “mean girl” in her class. She said this girl wouldn’t talk to her, openly snubbed her and had told her that she (Arianna) thought she was “all that.”
I began to laugh and told Arianna, “Well, you are all that, so what seems to be her problem?” She asked me what I meant, and I told her that in case she didn’t know it, she was smart as all get out, pretty as doll and had a great personality to boot.
“You’re all that! And apparently she knows it, and she’s jealous of it. So, don’t worry about what she has to say, you just keep on being you. Don’t change just because someone says something about you that’s unfair. Next time tell her, ‘Yeah, I am all that.’ Smile and walk away. ”
It may not make her a pile of friends, but it’ll nip peer pressure in the bud if she learns that lesson early.
Sandi McBride is a resident of Jefferson who blogs regularly and enjoys her garden and her furry and feathered friends. She is a wife and mother of two sons.