Last week, my kids started at new schools. This summer, we moved to BC with the vision for a fresh start for all of us. Life is short, the world is big, and we don’t like to stay in the same place for too long.
I knew that both Ava and William would be fine, but the only way to be sure is to jump in and experience it for yourself. They’ve attended the same schools their entire life to this point, in small-town Alberta, so this would certainly be a different experience.
William’s school has about 200 more kids in it, but Ava’s new high school has 1900 students compared to around 350 where she attended before this. That’s a massive change, but we could see that she was ready for it.
I’ve enjoyed watching both of my kids flourish in separate ways this past week. They have proved something to themselves. Pushing through our anxious butterflies is what moves us to the next level in our growth. Without a bit of external pressure, it’s far too easy to remain complacent and comfortable, a state that eventually leads to boredom.
My job now, as the parent of a ten year old and a thirteen year old, is to transition from hands-on mother to cheerleading coach. Our kids have to take the reins of their own life. They must be free to make their mistakes and celebrate their triumphs. This world can be a ridiculously scary place but it’s equally full of joy and beauty.
We cannot shield them from it. Our task is to walk alongside as they experience every type of emotion, serving as their tour guide to life by explaining our own journeys as a light for them to navigate theirs.
They don’t have to follow in our exact footsteps. What was right for us might be wrong for them. Our kids need our support, experience and ideas. They don’t need us to intervene, protect or to make their decisions and bear their consequences. This is how children learn (and adults too).
I’ve loved this past week. Watching Ava and William bloom into their new environments has inspired a surge of gratitude in me for the early work we did as parents. Confidence and resilience are not traits you can summon by snapping your fingers. They are seeds that grow over years of careful tending and watering. When you pay attention to that, eventually you see the most incredible and exciting results.