I belong to a private group on Facebook called:
Christian Women Write.
The last writing prompt: A childhood memory.
I am sharing my memory here as well.
A childhood memory---
I moved every single year of my life until the ripe old age of 11! (and then again, when I was 14) I have lived in Wyoming, Alaska, California and all over Washington State. One school year, we moved from Wyoming to a small town in Washington State and I began school, we moved half way through the school year, up to Anchorage and then moved back again, to another small town in Washington!
You see, my Dad was from the Midwest and my Mom from the big town of San Francisco. My parents met when my Uncle brought my Dad home while they were on leave from the Navy. When my Dad got out of the Navy he swept Mom off her feet and moved her to his hometown in Wyoming. Yes, he moved a big city girl to Wyoming; a one street town, full of cowboys!
Now my Mom, much to her credit did very well in the cowboy town. She considered herself a tomboy of sorts and so she adapted quite well. My brothers and I were all born in this little town in Wyoming. We all lived there until one day, our parents got an itch; they were both very alike, they both loved to travel.
My Dad's job was one that he traveled to and from job-sites and would be gone for weeks on end, leaving Mom home with the three of us. So, they decided Mom and us kids would just follow Dad to his different job-sites and when the job was finished we moved to the next! All was fine in my little world. until I began school.
Life as the 'new girl' wasn't all that fun, in fact it was horrifying! Each Summer we would pack up and leave and that Fall, I would begin a new school and attempt to fit in.
By the fourth grade, the 'always the new girl' status began to take it's toll on me. I was sick a lot of my fourth grade year and missed a lot of school. I would worry about the bus, worry about being late, worry the my homework wasn't right, worry that people didn't like me, worry, worry and worry to the point of making myself literally sick to my stomach. I would arrive at school and wind up in the nurses office more times than not. By, the time fourth grade was over we were packing our bags and moving again! This time, we would be moving to another small town, in Washington State.
My parents both decided that it was time I went to the Doctor, the doctor told us that what I was suffering from, was not anything physical, I had what he referred to as 'anxiety'. Well, of course I did, I lived with the fear of acceptance! By the time I was in fourth and fifth grades, the 'cliques' had started to form, and I was continually the 'new girl' and struggled and struggled to fit in and find my way! I remember thinking to myself, "why even try to make new friends? we will just move again, anyway!" I began, a wonderful coping technique that I continue to use today, I wrote! I journaled, and began my love of poetry. I coped. I made it.
So, this is where I found myself years later as a Mom to not one but,THREE daughters. My one solid Mom lesson, that I passed on to them? Always, always reach out to the new kid! Go sit by them in the lunchroom, ask them to play at recess or ask them to be your partner on a project. Please don't ever let the new kid feel unwanted. Reach out. Show compassion.
I think that having to move so much as a younger child taught me compassion. Compassion for the new kid at school, the co-worker, the new member at church, the new family member the new neighbor.
I learned to always reach out and not let others feel alone. It also, made me really put down roots; I have now lived in the same house for 34 years, with no plans to move yet! :)