Things are about to get worrisome around here, especially for those in the family who are 7 (and 2/3) years old.
In reality, the butterflies in my tummy started twitching their little wings a few months ago when the Hubs and I decided the time was right to break the news to the Young One. Daddy got a new job, I explained, and at the end of the school year, we’ll be moving to a new house in a new neighborhood in a new city in a new state called Ohio. What an adventure we’ll have!
Maybe I was a little too enthusiastic because she followed my announcement with her own bright declaration. “Yay! Then we can get a house with a basketball hoop!”
Apparently, the only way you get a basketball hoop (her current obsession) is to relocate to a house that has one already secured to its driveway.
After a particularly intense battle with math homework a few days later, she once again saw the advantages to moving. “I want to move to Ohio now!” She crossed her arms over her chest, puffed out her lower lip and informed me, “They don’t have math in Ohio!”
Interstate moves are magical like that.
When the “For Sale” sign was pushed into the front lawn, however, I saw the first seed of worry get planted. “Momma?” She asked after we had closed the cover on the night’s bedtime story and snuggled under her warm pink comforter. “How will we get my room to our new house?”
In her almost-eight-year-old mind, she saw a huge helicopter with strong ropes whisking her creamscicle-orange room through the sky and setting it gently into the shell of a home a hundred miles away.
That is one of the easier questions to answer though. I’m preparing myself for the tougher ones like not only leaving the pretty orange room here, but leaving the school and the friends and the basketball team here too. Sure, I can reinforce with her that we can paint her new room orange if she wants, and she’ll find plenty of new friends waiting for her at her new school. She might even luck out and get a new basketball team that can find its way to more than four wins a season.
The fear and anxiety that go hand in hand with the excitement and adventure of a move like this is the part I need a little help with. So this morning, I went to the greatest resource I know. The blogosphere with all its truth and wisdom will surely help a momma with her own fears and anxieties, and that is where I found this very basic approach to addressing Anxiety in Kids.
It talks about how the amygdala, that little corner of our brains that stores the fight or flight response, is the warrior of the brain. It protects us from evil forces like the unknown kids and grownups we’ll have to talk to on the first day in a new school.
We should give our warrior a name, this blogger, tells me. (I’m thinking Zelda will be good or maybe Diana–after our favorite Amazon warrior princess). Then we should tell our warrior who is in charge with deep breathing and positive self-talk.
This is good advice, and something my super-hero-worshipping little girl can understand. This just might be the concept that will guide the Young One through some of the rough patches ahead.
Now, I’m just worried about how I’m going to handle this move and the ensuing anxiety….If they don’t have math in Ohio, what will happen if they don’t have shoe stores either?