Old School, New Fence

"Old School, New Fence" by Abby Brundage (CatholicMom.com)

Via Pixabay (2015), CC0 Public Domain

Two weeks ago I experienced a freedom like I’d never felt before. As if a boulder had been lifted off of me, I probably could have reached the clouds if I’d hopped even the smallest hop.

My boys started wearing uniforms.

Now I should mention, that I’ve only been picking out school clothes for two years and they weren’t two difficult years, just pre-kindergarten. Plus, they are boys, so as long as the shirt and shorts were clean, I would put it on them. But still – it’s now one less decision I have to make. Praise God for the small things!

My sons started kindergarten and pre-k4 at our parish’s school. This isn’t just any school though; it’s my old school. Now they are eating in the same cafeteria, standing on the same steps for car line and if they get sent to the office in second grade like I did, they will sit in the same small chairs nervously awaiting a meeting with the principal (I still plead innocence!).

That’s not to say there hasn’t been change. There are new buildings and classrooms, new technology, and of course, almost all new faces. There are also new policies, gates and security.

I’m sure you noticed the gates at your child’s school, but when it’s the same school you attended and the gates haven’t always been there, the gates seem to scream, “The world isn’t the same as it used to be!”

And it’s not. In some ways it’s better. Way better. But in a lot of ways, it’s a heck of a lot more complicated. Teachers and administrators deal with issues that make me want to bury my head in the sand, our kids are picked on in person and online and the family looks quite different. I remember thinking how strange and sad that one of my classmate’s mom and dad were not married. Now my sons are part of that not-so-minority.

It’s overwhelming. Isn’t it? Until we stop and think about what isn’t different.


While the world changes, adding policies and rod-iron gates, He remains the same, and so does His Church. My sons are making the same Sign of the Cross at the start of the day. They are choosing the same shades of blue to color the picture of Mary in art class. They are receiving the same correction and glaring stares from the teacher when they talk during school Mass.

"Old School, New Fence" by Abby Brundage (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2017 Abby Brundage. All rights reserved.

I can’t stop the world from going on around my children, but I can remind them of the stability and peace they can find in their church and school home. And I can find that same peace for my worrying-mom heart. I pray that your back-to-school days are filled with God’s peace, joy and even if your kids don’t wear uniforms, freedom!

Copyright 2017 Abby Brundage


About Author

Abby Brundage Watts is a mother of two little boys. Since January of 2008 she has hosted The Big, Big House Morning Show on Spirit FM 90.5, the radio ministry of the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg in Florida. The show mixes inspiration, humor and family fun (and great music of course)! You can hear Abby every weekday 6-10am, EST and online at www.myspiritfm.com. She also is the co-creator of the podcast, Perhaps This Is the Moment. You can find it on all the podcast platforms.

1 Comment

  1. Love! Thank you for the breath of fresh air and a reminder that God is always the same and always there. I needed to read this…thank you for sharing.

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