This morning I received an email from my youngest sister, Becca. It said, “It’s been 20 years since you were in 5th grade!!! LOL!”. Oh man, nothing like feeling super old first thing in the morning. Ever since reading that email, today has been very nostalgic for me.
You see, 20 years ago we moved from a small little country town where everybody knew me, knew my family, and mostly knew everything about us. I was basically born with friends.
We did everything together…preschool, church, extracurricular activities, started grade school, spent the night at each other’s houses, birthdays, all the fun things kids do. I remember many times my parents asking us if we wanted to move. I always responded with, “Only if it is to a new house in Madison or Rutledge (the small town over).” I was terrified of moving and losing everything that I had.
In August of 1990, my parents moved us to Atlanta (and by Atlanta I mean a small city in the suburbs of Atlanta). It seemed huge compared to where we came from. I was excited about a new house and a new bedroom. My parents did everything they could to make us feel at home and settled. But then school started…5th grade to be exact.
I remember my first day like it was yesterday! I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it. I was sitting next to a girl named Michelle. She looks over at my name on my desk and says, “Your name is Ree-knee?” I told her that my name was “Ra-nay” and I was crushed. They didn’t even know how to say my name here! How was I going to make friends? I slowly made friends and had a lot of fun growing up. I kept in touch with my friends from Madison for a while (and thanks to FB I can a lot more now) and would cry to my mom occasionally about how much I missed them. I vividly remember sitting in my peach colored room one night and sobbing to my mom about how much I hated my new school and that I wanted to go back to Madison. I know she felt horrible but in the end they made the right decision for our family! I can’t imagine my life without some of the trials I had as a fifth grader.
Lance and I are in the process (and have been for a long time) of figuring out where we want to raise our kids, have them go to school and church, and where we want our forever (or at least the next 20 years or so) home to be. My experiences from 5th grade weigh heavily on my heart when I try to make that decision. I know I sound dramatic and that my experience is nothing like some kids hard lives of moving around from school to school. I just want my kids to be happy and feel planted in their lives. I want them to look back and remember “The House That Built Them”.