My name is Chloe Ann Parker. I have a momma and a daddy. My daddy is a preacher, and it’s his fault we have to move. I told my momma it stinks that I have to start a new school in the middle of the year. I didn’t think that was even legal.
My eyes leaked a little when I told my friend, Sabrina, goodbye. Momma said I’ll make new friends.
I looked in the mirror. My new pink dress was beautiful, but I still felt grumpy. I stuck my tongue out, and a little giggle squeaked out.
“Chloe, time to go.”
My feet moved slowly down the hallway.
“Come on. You don’t want to be late.”
“Momma, my tummy feels funny. Maybe I shouldn’t go today.”
“Honey, you just have butterflies in your stomach.”
“What?” I grabbed my belly. “I have bugs inside me?”
“No, no.” Momma patted my shoulder. “It’s just an expression because that nervous feeling is like fluttery wings in your belly.”
“Nope. I don’t have butterflies. More like rocks.”
Momma smiled. “You’ll be okay. There’s no reason to be nervous.”
“But what if I puke like that time I sang in front of church?”
“Just take a deep breath. Here’s your backpack.”
I dragged my backpack by one strap to the car. After I buckled my seatbelt, I crossed my arms real tight over my chest. “If I do feel sick, what should I do? I mean, I don’t want to puke on my new teacher.”
Momma shrugged and shook her head. “Use your backpack.”
We were at the school lickety-splick. That means really fast. I didn’t put my backpack on my back since I still wasn’t sure I wouldn’t have to use it for something other than my school supplies. I tried very hard to think about anything else. But my brain thought about Sabrina back at my old school. That made my shoulders droopy.
The front door of the school buzzed and clicked. Momma pulled it open and grabbed my hand, pulling me inside. “We have to go to the office first.”
I squeezed momma’s hand a little tighter. In the office were three desks with a lady sitting at each one.
Another lady with brown hair, a dress, and spiky heel shoes smiled at us. “Welcome to our school. This must be Chloe. I’m Dr. Crum, the principal. Let me show you to Mrs. Potts’ room.”
“Chloe is a bit nervous about starting school in a new place.” Momma winked at me.
Dr. Crum stopped and looked at me. “Starting school in a new place can be hard, but you’re going to really like Mrs. Potts. I just know it.” She started walking again.
The principal stepped into a room and momma followed. I let go of her hand and stood with my toes in the classroom but my heels still in the hallway. A group of boys and girls were sitting on a rug. All of their eyes stared at me. Those rocks in my stomach rolled around.
“This is Chloe. She will be in your class now.” Dr. Crum glanced at me. “This is Mrs. Potts, your teacher.”
A lady with dark hair knelt in front of me. Her skirt looked like it would be good for twirling around. “I’m so glad you’re joining our class. Let me show you where to put your backpack.”
I pulled my backpack closer. “You might want me to keep it for a while. Momma said if I need to puke, I could use it.” I looked up at momma and did my show-my-teeth grin.
Momma smiled just a half of a smile and her face turned a little red. I wonder if she has rocks rolling in her stomach?
The kids giggled and snickered. A girl with curly black hair and a little pink bow motioned with her finger and patted the floor beside her.
I stepped one foot all the way in and then the other. I inched a little closer to the rug. My throat felt lumpy and I swallowed.
“Chloe, why don’t you sit next to Katie,” Mrs. Potts said.
I scooted in beside the girl and she cupped her hand next to her mouth. “Your dress is pretty.” She used a whisper voice.
I whispered back. “I like your bow.” I was pretty sure I wouldn’t need to puke into my backpack, but I kept it with me just in case.
Have you ever had to go to a new school? How did you feel?
Have you ever felt nervous? How would you describe that feeling?
Do you think Chloe will like her new school? Why or why not?
On a piece of paper write down how you would make Chloe feel better about coming into a new class.