The kids are back to school next week and it suddenly occurred to me, the other day as we were picking out new backpacks in Zellers, that this is the first time, ever, that I haven’t been worried about Amy’s transition into the new school year.
Amy has always been one of those kids that errs on the side of caution, so she’s always been pretty nervous about any major change in her routine. Add to that moving to a new country (between preschool 3 and 4 years), a new school between preschool and kindergarten, followed by another new school between kindergarten and Grade 1, and you can see why as the end of August approaches every year I brace myself for a rocky start into the next school year.
There is, of course, a good chance that I am to blame for Amy’s beginning of school year-related anxieties. Perhaps I’ve inadvertently put too much pressure on her to make friends and ‘fit in’ at each new school she has started since we moved to Vancouver.
You see, when we moved to Vancouver four years ago, we didn’t know a soul here. No family members, no friends, no friends of friends. Not one single person or contact.
Moving to a new city where you know no one is a very vulnerable position to be in. With no back up, no family or friends, in place to call in the event of an emergency, what are you supposed to do if an emergency where you physically have to be in two places at the same time arises?
As if that isn’t scary enough one of my biggest anxieties when we moved here was that I had only been cancer-free for one year. What if the cancer spread? The only way we got through the cancer ordeal the first time round without the kids suspecting a thing was because of our amazing network of friends in Philly. Who could we rely on in our new city if my health started to take a turn for the worse?
For me, the obvious solution, the only solution, was to make friends. Fast.