Back in March I started communicating with Arleigh’s new high school to let them know she would be coming and to please save a spot for her in band. We’ve been on a bit of a roller coaster since. Arleigh wasn’t sure that band was what she wanted. Then she was sure. Then she wasn’t. When we arrived, she was ready. I went into the school to pay the hefty fees for her participation and was told there might not be a spot. Sigh. Moving with kids is not a cakewalk. We scheduled a meeting with the program director. Good news! There is a spot. I filled out the paperwork. Paid the fees and we proceeded to try and prepare for band camp.
Band camp prep included procuring an alto saxophone. This is one more time I want to praise the Hawaii public school system. Arleigh was loaned FREE OF CHARGE an intermediate level alto sax. That is not the case here in Virginia. The school recommended that we purchase or rent one from a local store. The only thing the store would rent was a student level saxophone at the low low price of $70 per month. Arleigh tried soaking her reeds. This morning she was still frustrated because it wasn’t playing the way she is used to. I ordered a new lunch bag from Amazon because she didn’t like the options I found on short notice. Amazon was cheaper anyway. I thought it was fine because all my paperwork said that she would finish up at noon today. WRONG. Today and tomorrow she stays until 5. I’ve also been given multiple notes that we should consider private lessons on top of what she’ll be doing at school for the low low price of $35 per week. I need a job just to pay for band!
Last night I got a phone call. I seriously nearly cried. They asked if they could chalk our driveway so that Arleigh would wake up, see it this morning and be excited about camp. Seriously…watery eyes. I knew that was just what she needed. This morning I woke up like a kid on Christmas morning ready to make Arleigh look out her window. Good thing I checked first. There was no beautiful kid writing welcoming her to band. Sigh. What if she is the only freshman without it?
By the time we got in the car I could tell her nerves were getting the best of her. Before we got out of the ‘hood she was in tears. New is hard. I told her new is always hard and almost always scary but the hardest scariest things that I’ve done have always been worth it. I told her that I was excited that she was going to totally know where she was going on her first day of school. I told her I couldn’t wait to hear all about her new friends. I told her I was sorry about her being uncomfortable with the new sax but I would email the director and together we would figure it out, better now than in the middle of a competition.
My girl straightened her shoulders and took the news that she would be there all day in stride. I think she knew it was coming. She found her way to the auditorium. I had to walk away.
The truth is, when you move to a new place, home school starts to look pretty good. I would love to wrap my arms around all four of them and protect their little hearts from mean kids and feeling out of place. I would love to be with them all day with my delusion of grandeur literature studies and history lessons. Then I remember. Math is…well, not my strong suit. Science makes my head hurt most of the time. I am not what is best for them. I am a better Mom when they get home from school. New is hard for me too. When I got home I cried.
I cried for the friends that they desperately miss. I cried for the teachers that loved them so so much. I cried for the slow island pace. I cried because I know my kids are way the heck out of their comfort zone and there isn’t much I can do to help them navigate. Then I sucked it up. We have a great house, a great school and Arleigh got her spot. I fully expect that today will be great and she’s going to come home telling me about her new friends. I will worry and pray all day though.
The next few weeks are going to be chock full of new new new for all four. If you think about it, please say a prayer of peace for my little military brats. They are strong. They are friendly. They are kind and compassionate. They can do big great things. They also ache a bit for what they know of as home.
I had every intention of writing about our lovely summer detour through Kentucky and Illinois today. That will have to wait for a bit. We have bigger fish to fry and other instruments to tune. I’ll get back to my regularly scheduled programming soon. Thanks for the indulgence.