Being an ex-Navy family, we’ve moved around a fair bit, and our older two children have already been to three different schools in their short schooling lives. I was worried when we started at our new school that we, or rather I, wouldn’t fit in. We are living in a higher socio-economic area than we’ve ever lived before. The school is the smallest we’ve been too, and I was worried that it would be such a tight-knit community that parent friendships would have been long formed, and I’d remain on the fringe. I find talking to new people difficult, especially if there is already a friendship group formed. I suck at small talk, and approaching someone I don’t know fills me with anxiety.
It seems I judged too harshly, and too prematurely. Other parents haven’t hesitated to come and talk to me, to make me, and my children feel welcome. To make our family feel welcome. Class contact lists are shared between parents, and there have been offers to pick up Dylan and Mahalia if I ever get stuck with Harry and Zach. At the end of each term, a picnic/play date is organised for each year (at least in the junior years) so that children can play together while the parents get to know each other better.
Two weeks ago the mother of a child in my daughter’s grade passed away suddenly, and last week we found out that the younger sibling to two students at the school, who happen to be in Dylan and Mahalia’s classes, has been diagnosed with leukaemia. She can’t be more than three, and already her little body is experiencing chemotherapy and all its side effects.. Life can be so hugely cruel and unfair. I can only begin to imagine what these families are going through. Our little school is rallying around these families though. Meeting are being held to discuss how we can help these families, food rosters organised, people volunteering to be the liaison with the families sot that they don’t have to deal with hundreds of people in their faces at what must be an awful and heartbreaking time.
The universe throws out devastating situations to good people, people who only deserve to have good things happen to them. And while it doesn’t make up for, nor cancel out what these families are going through, there always seems to be some kindness, some goodness that shines through these dark days. Our little school has got the backs of these two families.
Our school is definitely a tight-knit school, but it is also welcoming, caring, supportive, and one that I’m glad my children attend. It’s a school community that I’m proud to be a part of.
Universe? If you’re listening, it’s time to give these families a break.