Changing Schools – Heartache and Hot Chocolate

Noah and I moved to a new town a couple weeks ago, and so far the transition has been pretty smooth. Noah really loves our new bachelor pad. He agrees with me… the old one was too big and too much work.  And he would know because he had to help me with just about everything at the old house. Well, everything except laundry. No kid should have to touch his dad’s dirty underwear.

No dad should have to touch his kid’s dirty underwear either. Oh well, I guess that’s why they invented hazmat suits.

His bedroom is about half the size, but he retreats to it all the more often. I have to wonder if he feels cozier or more secure in there than he did in the old one. My bedroom’s about half the size as my old one as well, and I love it because I don’t have to walk a quarter mile to relieve myself in the middle of the night.

But of all the transitions, I think school has been the toughest for him. He’s been going to his old school for a year and a half. He had some really good buddies in his class, and he was in love with his teacher. He felt like the cool kid in that class, he knew how it all worked, and the way he talked made it seem he ran the place sometimes.

His new school is amazing. Best school in the state, according to some fancy schmancy award they got. Lots more fun stuff, more resources and more activities. I thought he’d love it.

But on the first day, he cried.

And on the second day, he cried.

Yesterday was his third day there and he cried again.

If there’s one thing Noah doesn’t like to do, its talk about the deeper, more conflicting things that are bothering him. It’s tough as a dad to get the truth out of him, but with a little effort, a little hot chocolate, and some good ol’ rousting around, I finally got the truth…

He misses his old school. He misses his old teacher. And, he misses his old friends more than anything.

All the play equipment, climbing and parachute flapping in the world can’t deter those feelings. At least not right now.

And that’s okay. Kids deserve to be sad when they lose things that are important to them. I’m sure he’ll soon have loads of new friends and that he’ll soon fall in love with this teacher, too. In the meantime, I’ll just keep making him hot cocoa and giving him extra play time with dad.  That usually does the trick.

His teachers say he’s adjusting better and better each day.

I offered him a quarter for every kid’s name that he learned, and he was so proud of himself when he got two quarters after school yesterday.

The best thing of all was that he said, “Dad, I think I have some friends now.”

As a man who was once a kid who moved all the time, I know how wonderful that feeling is.

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