Last week was the first class of Financial Peace University. I am debating doing a Money Monday theme for a while, using the information we're learning.
But that's not what this post is about.
Last week, I went to the class excited about learning new things and looking forward to meeting new people. As my friend Kim has said, I like people. I love meeting new people.
Well, they weren't all that friendly. They all knew each other, and they all seemed to attend the church where the class was held (which I chose because it was so close to our house). They even seemed to view me with...well...suspicion.
So, all week long it has bothered me a little bit. I couldn't tell if it was my perception or if it was reality that they were chilly towards this new member.
I couldn't put my finger on it. Until today.
I happened to mention to Little G that the class seemed a little distant. They all seemed to know each other. They didn't seem all that interested in this new person in their class.
She piped up, "Oh, like the first day at a new school."
Oh. My. God.
I get it now. I, who only changed schools when everyone else I knew also changed them, suddenly get it. I was an adult before I ever really had a "new school"-- and college is a totally different situation.
I really get it.
People talk about how resilient military kids are. People talk about how brave they are, how strong, how everything. I definitely agree.
But I didn't really, truly get it. That chilly sensation? That "everyone knows each other and they don't care about me" feeling? That is what my Big G has gone through countless times. That is what these kids go through every.single.move.
Some kids are really good at this, and they find their way very easily. Some kids have it harder. But do we really realize, do we really appreciate and understand what this does?
My class is a group of friendly, open adults. Tonight's class was much better. I think it's because I am sitting back a little more and trying to ease my way into their group instead of jumping in with both feet.
I can imagine, though, how it would be if these were middle school kids. Or high school teenagers. And now that I know how that "New Kid" feeling really is, I have a deeper appreciation for what our kids go through.
I hope you do, too.
Kids are resilient. Kids are strong. But we must (absolutely must) recognize and appreciate what it takes to make them that way, and give them the resources and support they need. I don't mean money, or special programs-- I mean a friendly smile when we see a new person. I mean talking with our kids and really listening. I mean understanding that chilly-new-kid feeling, and talking with them about it.
Thank you, Little G for summing up why the class felt awkward. And thank you, Big G for turning into such an amazing strong person despite our lack of true understanding.