This time of year two years ago, I was in a new place with boxes all around me, squishing a big house's contents into a much smaller military residence, and trying to support my kids as they started new schools.
Only the schools didn't open, and the kids didn't start.
Grown adults were unable to sit in a room and compromise, and their employees and their students suffered for it. I was FED UP, and I wrote this blog, stating how important that first day of school was to our military kids.
And then someone commented on said blog, implying that because I wasn't FROM HERE I didn't get an opinion.
OH. EM. GEE.
If you follow my blogs, you'll know I LOST IT. What the frigging heck? Not FROM HERE? No, I'm not FROM HERE. I went against my usual rule of DO NOT ENGAGE, and responded to said comment. Nicely, of course...I AM Canadian and all. I posted my muted outrage on Facebook, and had a tremendous outpouring of support from friends and readers alike, and then posted another blog response here.
Anyway, why I've brought this moment in my blog history to the table today is that --guess what?-- my family is now in a different house, with kids in a different school (which, thank heavens, started on time), and we are all experiencing the NOT FROM HERE in a whole different way, because we actually AREN'T. Considering several of us were born here, and we've vacationed here, lived here, worked here and played here before...it should be pretty easy to transition. But the questions outlined on my first blog are the same...only multiplied now that the kids are teens:
"Will I like my teacher? Will I be able to play the trombone in band? Will I make the soccer team? Will I be behind or ahead in Math? Will I have too much homework? Will the kids on the bus be mean or nice? Will they tease me because I'm new? Did I get the course selections I asked for? Will I have enough time to get between classes? Are there good books in the library?
And the most important question for kids... Will I meet a new best friend?"
Add new things like the fact that this time we are living in a city (our first in ten years), one of us is missing (off to university), American high school culture (holy cow, different), a completely new curriculum (yes, the Math is VERY different), and different brands at the grocery store (no Kinder eggs here, folks...but there's WINE) it's been an eye opener.
The good thing about this posting, though, is that it's ABOUT not being FROM HERE. We're here because we are different. We are here to learn and to share and to expand ourselves. And other than some, um...interesting political postulating (oh, boy), it's GOOD that we are here. It's exciting. It's scary. It's educational and enriching.
And we are not alone. America, like Canada, is a country of others. Especially here, in the capital region, there are many, many people not FROM HERE.
There have already been hiccups, and we've already changed (my laid back Canadian driving skills have had to go--it's every driver for themselves on these roads), but I hope the end result will be positive. Especially once those boxes are all empty.
We'll see. I'll keep you posted.