Times have definitely changed.
Or maybe it's because I grew up in a different country.
My first child is soon to be 'graduating' from Primary school, or also known as elementary school in America, and she's moving on to Secondary school (AKA middle school in America).
When I was a kid, things seemed straight forward, simple, and automatic.
If memory serves me right, things didn't involve loads of testing, exams, and the like just to add to the system and to figure out where I was going for middle school.
Back in my day, we just went from Year 6 (5th Grade) to Year 7 (6th Grade) in the school nearest your house (or most conveniently located).
For those of you who aren't aware, here in the UK, yesterday was the 'National Offer Day'.
Basically it's the day when you are told which school your child will be going to (as per your desired choices that you indicated on the application).
There were many children offered their first choice, and everyone was happy.
And then there were some, for whatever reason or circumstance, where we were not offered our first choice.
We were in the latter group.
In fact, it was our fourth choice.
How is that possible?
It is not known how these school administrators handle all the kids and place them in all the schools.
I certainly don't know.
My point is, yes, I was disappointed.
It was like this heavy deep tug of a downer, dude.
When I got the email with the information, my child wasn't home.
So I called her.
I had no idea how she'd react.
I was assuming that she'd react like me.
But, when I told her, she was like, "OK! Thanks mom! See you later!"
She was like as cool as a cucumber.
So I thought, "Oh boy, she'll let us have when she gets home. That's when the real unhappiness will shine out. The beast will reveal itself."
About an hour later, she comes home and I braced myself.
My kid pops into the house, all bouncy and full of energy, with a smile on her face,
"Hi Mom! So who else got the same school?"
"Uuuummm, not sure yet. I think Kate* and Rebecca*."
"Uh, sweetie, you know it wasn't our first choice, right?" (I'm bracing myself for her reaction.)
"Yeah, uh huh!"
"And you're uh, cool with that?" (Still bracing.)
"Yup! Sure! It's all good!"
And the thing is, I didn't sense that she was pulling an act or anything.
(You know how pre-teens and teens try to pull an act and it's all bullshit and they try to hide how they really feel?)
She was totally genuinely super cool with the whole thing.
I was amazed.
I mean, I was so much more affected by this!
So much more upset about it.
She wasn't even upset about it, so of course I was more upset about it!
Well, gosh darn it.
Yet another moment where I was humbled by one of my children.
Another lesson by my kid.
A huge lesson.
This cool cat of mine just naturally embrace the concept of 'What Is'.
I have no idea how she did it, but she just accepted the situation, knew it was the way it went, and chose to make the best of it.
I was so impressed.
So I dropped my frustration.
Right then and there I just decided to be cool with it.
To accept what is.
She made the whole thing so much easier to cope with.
She just made it all good.
It was so refreshing to be shown a lesson from my child, instead of the other way around.
(And God knows it's exhausting to constantly feel like you're teaching life lessons to your kids. Practically pounding it into them, figuratively speaking of course.)
She deserved to be acknowledged, so I gave her a huge hug and told her how proud I am of her.
It was definitely a good reminder about how beneficial it is to embrace what life throws at you sometimes, and how when you think you can't control a situation, you can still control how you react to it.
And my daughter demonstrated that beautifully.
As for everyone else on National Offer Day, I do hope it all turned out well!
See you for your next adjustment!
— Dr MaryAnne
*names have been fabricated.
Times have definitely changed.