I am always the new kid,
The last picked for teams.
The one who sits alone at lunch,
Even when the cafeteria is bursting at the seams.
I try out for sports
only to be told to try again next year.
They don’t realize another move
makes the possibility of that unclear.
There was that help I needed for school,
so we worked the process until completed,
only to be told we were moving,
and the whole thing would have to be repeated.
I want to love it here,
to feel like I’m embraced.
I want to know you see me,
as more than temporary, a label, a nameless face.
I heard you,
when you muttered as I passed,
as an excuse to dismiss me or see me as an outcast.
One day, I know all of this will make me a better person,
who sees a stranger as a possible friend,
not to use labels or ignore kids,
but to be the change I hoped in the end.
Until then, I keep trying,
to put myself out there with hope.
I don’t always want to be the new one,
but your friend, your teammate, and just a kid who loves his home.
© Chameleon Kids 2015
We know military kids aren’t the only ones who move a lot because of a parent’s job. There are lots of “new kids” who are waiting for someone to talk to, a chance to “make the team,” a shot at the services that will help them to be a better student.
Where does change start? At home. Please reach out to that “new person.” Let your kids see you making friends with the new people. Too many times, the “new kid” is pushed off and dismissed. They are told to “wait” or that “they don’t understand.” In fact, the child understands all too well his/her situation.
You can make a difference in the life of a child. Encourage a new family to be a part of your circle. Help your kids to see the value in a different viewpoint. Be inclusive not exclusive. There is room for all of us.