"Chloe," Momma called up the stairs.
I sat in the floor of my bedroom with my arms crossed tight and my bottom lip poked out. Momma always said I could win awards in pouting. I didn't even know they had competitions for that.
My mood hopped from pouting to sad.
Maybe if I miss registration for first grade, I won't have to go.
"Chloe Ann Parker!"
Uh oh, my whole name. "Momma's getting mad now."
"Not mad, but quite frustrated. "
Momma stood at my bedroom door with her arms crossed. "It's time to go, young lady. We need to go register you for first grade."
"But Momma, I really didn't finish Mrs. Potts' kindergarten since I came in towards the end of the year. They really want you to complete one grade before you move to the next one, you know."
Momma's face softened into her sweet smile. She walked over and eased onto my bed. "Honey, you had a whole year of kindergarten, just not all in Mrs. Potts' class. I know change is hard and sometimes scary, but you're growing up."
"I didn't grow that much over the summer."
Momma stood and reached her hand to me. "Come on. I'm sure you'll like your first grade teacher just as much as you liked Mrs. Potts."
I slowly stood up and grasped Momma's hand. "I don't know."
"Remember, you were afraid about Mrs. Potts and her class before you tried it. You gotta give it a try."
"I guess you're right, Momma. I didn't want to go to kindergarten at first when we moved here but then Mrs. Potts turned out to be the bestest teacher ever."
I chewed my bottom lip for a minute. "I guess I can give it a try."
"Good girl." Momma hugged me.
We walked inside the school, and the principal, Dr. Crum, smiled. "Chloe, it's nice to see you."
She remembered my name. I smiled back and waved as we walked on by. I shook my head. How does she walk around in those fancy spiky shoes? Guess it's a principal thing.
Up ahead was a table and I spotted Mrs. Potts. I let go of Momma's hand and sprinted up to my favorite teacher.
"Good morning, Chloe." Mrs. Potts put one arm around me and squeezed me in a hug. "Hello, Mrs. Parker."
"Morning, Mrs. Potts. Chloe's not too excited to leave your class."
Mrs. Potts looked at me. "You'll do great in first grade. You're a smart girl."
If Mrs. Potts thought I was smart, it must be true.
Momma and I walked down the hall, past all the kindergarten classrooms and the Pre-K. The first grade table was just ahead. Four teachers sat behind it. Which teacher would I have?
I slowed my feet. My stomach jiggled a bit like jello. What if I needed to puke? I swallowed hard. Not a good way to start out with a new teacher.
Momma told the teachers my name and the one on the end near me grinned. "I have Chloe Ann Parker on my list. I'm Mrs. Taylor. I'm glad you'll be in my class this year."
Momma and Mrs. Taylor talked but I wasn't sure about what. I was studying my new teacher. Her teeth were pretty and white when she smiled. And when she chuckled at something that was said, her whole face laughed. Her eyes even twinkled behind her glasses. I liked it.
"I'll see you Monday, Chloe," Mrs. Taylor said.
"Okay, Mrs. Taylor. Mrs. Potts said that I'm a smart girl, so I'll probably be your favoritist student." I gave her a thumbs-up and a wink.
Change can be hard, but sometimes we find, like Chloe, that it's not as bad as we imagine. When have you had a time you have had to change? Change schools? Change grades? Change houses? Describe it and how it turned out for you.
What might you say to someone who is scared about starting a new class at school? How could you encourage them?