I can relate to a teen after all

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

On Wednesday mornings the editorial staff at Times Newspapers meet for a staff meeting.

I missed it this week.

I was at freshman orientation with my son, Bailey.

As we walked out of the school following the four hour event I asked Bailey how he felt.

Bailey said he was both anxious and scared at the same time.

I told him that was natural, but he had no reason to be nervous. I don't think that was much comfort. I also told him when he had to get shots or stitches if he didn't look it wouldn't hurt so much.  

I was telling our executive editor Jeanette Kendall about this as she filled me in on what I missed at the editorial meeting.

We began talking about how we both had to step into new positions this year and leave behind jobs we were comfortable in. Jeanette was promoted to executive editor from editor of our East Peoria paper.

I became editor of this paper after 12 years at the Peoria Times-Observer which was closed down to open this paper.   

It suddenly occurred to me I could relate to Bailey.

I was in the same boat he finds himself in a few months ago as we started this newspaper.

I have the distinction of being editor at one time or another, for varying lengths of time, of every newspaper in this company.

At each paper I had to find new sources, forge relationships and ferret out information from people who did not know me.

When we started the Woodford Times I had more than 20 years editorial experience behind me.

I had the tools to do the job.

But, there I was facing something I had never done before - help to start and mold a brand new newspaper from scratch.

That recognition hit me right between the eyes. I was like Bailey, facing the first day of high school, anxious and nervous. I remember not sleeping well.

Now 18 weeks after the launch of this paper I'm feeling welcome and more comfortable.

Now, all I can do is hope Bailey's experience 18 weeks into his high school career feels as comfortable. It's all about time and an ability to adjust.