Walking up and down the superstore aisles reminds us the children will be boarding those big yellow buses soon. Your kitchen table is stacked with loose leaf note paper, 12 packs of #2 pencils, 3 boxes of plastic bags, 2 boxes of tissue, 10 glue sticks, and a cool backpack. Where did the summer go?   You PCS’d in June, unpacked the house in record time, and spent an exhausting amount of energy getting your children integrated into their new community. You position your kids adorned in new (and stain-free) clothes next to the American flag, snapping countless photos to capture another monumental year; promising them that one day, they will appreciate these photos.   As the bus door closes, you give a last wave as a tear of sadness mixed with joy trickles down your cheek.   Big sigh… now what?

The Family Readiness Officer (FRO) contacted you in June, welcoming you to the unit. Her name is Rachel. She seemed very friendly and gave you information on a multitude of resources to assist you with the transition. The kids love their new Youth Sports soccer team. The School Liaison officer assisted your oldest with his school transcripts. The finance class the FRO recommended was also helpful in establishing your family’s new budget. Yet you still haven’t made any friends. The latest email you received from the FRO mentioned a Back to School Blues potluck luncheon. Hmmm, you wonder if there will be enough people there so you don’t feel uncomfortable. You think “What if they already have their friendship circles formed? What if they don’t like me?” You glance at your calendar and see the empty days staring back at you. What the heck? You RSVP yes and start planning what dessert would be best to share.

When the day finally arrives you walk into the community center and see a group of about 20 spouses chit-chatting throughout the room. Rachel immediately notices you and comes rushing over before the door closes behind you. Her contagious smile immediately makes you feel welcome. She works the room, introducing you to everyone there, including another new spouse. Luckily everyone’s wearing nametags!!  On one of the tables are sign-up sheets for various “clubs” within the unit. The cleverly titled “Moms on the Move” caught your eye; you’ve been considering getting back into running.   What a great opportunity to get fit and make friends, (particularly after eating all of the delicious food). You decide to sign up.

As you drive home, you feel a weight lifted from your shoulders. What an unexpectedly good day.  Suddenly you remember Rachel talking about always needing new volunteers. Hmmm…perhaps at the next potluck you could help another new unit spouse have an unexpectedly good day.

Are you interested in getting involved with your local Family Readiness program? Click here to learn more.