The Open House Mystery

August 25, 2016

Abby’s middle school Open House coincided on the same evening as her first gymnastics class (thankfully not at the same time, but close).

It was her first big day since moving into the new house - an exciting mystery to uncover.

She told us earlier in the week that she had one goal - to meet one friend, just one. Abby is ever-hopeful and excited.

I’d like to report that going to Open House was miraculous, that friends lined up to meet and greet her, that the teachers were all wearing big smiles and halos. But, no.

The most miraculous thing that happened was that we found parking.

Open House was more like Open Season. It was a chaotic frenzy, like sharks ripping apart a carcus. All three grades had the same time slot, so we arrived to parking pandemonium. Cars lined the grassy knolls, the streets, anywhere there was a blank space, a car filled it. We finally parked at a church across the street.

There were no signs directing people - no numbers on the doors. We could only guess what building to go to, what floor, what room. We had to ask for help amid super-crowded hallways. Everyone else seemed to know where to go and what to do - just not us.

We waited in lines to meet teachers and get paperwork. The teachers were nice and yes, smiling, but there wasn’t an avenue for meeting other kids short of walking up to someone, sticking a hand out, and saying, “I’m Abby. What’s your name?” She’s brave, but in a middle school setting, that kind of directness would’ve been fodder for social exile.

So, Abby didn’t meet her goal.

The answers to these mysteries - the outcomes of these two big events - proved disappointing.

Back in Williamsburg, we couldn’t go anywhere without running into someone we knew. It’s true.

Now, there’s not one familiar face anywhere. It’s jarring. I can’t imagine how it feels to Abby. I know she’s disappointed.

But, she found her way around school (a big plus for preparing for the first day), met her teachers (all nice), and enjoyed her gymnastics class (even though she didn’t meet a new friend there either). Feeling more comfortable about her environment is a win, even if she didn’t meet any friend-material yet. School starts in a few days. I’m praying for her to make many friends and have a fabulous first day. We’re all hopeful that it’ll be great.

“But I will hope continually,

And will praise You yet more and more.”

Psalm 71:14