Friday, March 25, 2016

A Dry Run...



As March comes around in Peru, we start to see more movement each morning. We begin to see adorable little brown-skinned kids strutting their new backpacks to the bus stops. We see large groups of youth happily taking an exit from university classes as they migrate across the avenue. We see and experience the hustle and bustle of back to school shoppers preparing for the year. I am pretty certain that it happens the same in many places around the globe.
For our youngest daughter Emma, this year's first day at a new school was a highly anticipated event. After the hours of psychological evaluations and testing, rigorous shopping to procure the items on the lists of required school supplies, and trying to find school clothes for a 13 year old girl that would suffice, she had a full plate of stress before the year began.
First Day at a New School...Smiles
The day finally arrived. We wanted to make a big deal about it. She is totally worth it! We loaded up the car with her countless bags of school supplies, backpack, lunch pack, and a few other items. Regardless of what comes out of her mouth, there is always some uncertainty in a new situation.  I was quite sure there was a bit of stress weighing on Emma's heart, but she was rather excited and overcame the anxiety.
We began the short drive to the school. The road winds through a farming area and is riddled with mud and irrigation canals that seem to keep traffic from speeding through. As the school came into view, we noticed there was a lack of activity for what would seem to be the first day of school. We weren't early nor late. We were alone.
As we contemplated our situation, we reviewed the information from the school as to the start date of classes. We discovered that there was a confusing bit where the date did not correspond with the day of the week. The leap year troll somehow caused the confusion.  We headed home and celebrated as if it was her first school holiday.
Emma's focus for the past weeks was on starting school. She thought it would have been that day. However, it became a test run.  All the emotion and pressure was all for not...was it really?
Emma received another chance.  The pressure subsided. We prepared for another first day of school. This time she was more ready that she was the day before. She was experienced. She had already taken the drive. She had already experienced the emotional pressure of arriving at the school and wondering what to do. What an opportunity for this young girl to do over. It was like a dress rehearsal. She had nothing to lose. In fact, it was a blessing for her. A dry run.
Isn't it nice to have a practice round? All too often we view a situation like Emma's as a disappointment or wasted day. Instead, I challenge you to take it as an opportunity to improve and use it as practice for the real show. Be thankful for the "disappointments" in your life. They are opportunities for improvement.