"make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,
so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."

--1 thessalonians 4: 11-12

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

i sent my baby to school

last year was a struggle.
it was our first year home schooling,
sydney was really struggling with her work,
i had our 4th baby in the middle of the first semester,
and i was seriously struggling with depression.

i was able to climb out of the pit and finish the year.
i had every intention of sending sydney to school 
instead of putting myself (and her) through that misery again...

but i couldn't make myself do it.

due to the move, we got a late start.
i wasn't worried since we could
make it up over the summer...
but things weren't much better this year.
school time was so stressful.
my boys are 2 1/2 and 1.
they are so, so demanding.
ali is 4 1/2 and hungry for knowledge,
devouring her work faster than
i can hand it out...

and still, there was my sweet sydney.
struggling through letter and sound recognition,
frustration written all over her face.
it was surely on mine too, but not for the same reason.

as a teacher, i was feeling more and more inadequate.
as a mommy, i found myself wishing 
i could just be left alone
when i should be embracing snuggle time
after our school work was done.

i was too busy being a teacher 
that i was missing out 
 on being a mommy.

some mothers really enjoy that dual role.
i was hating it.

i wasn't ok with that, but i was so afraid.
i was afraid because i knew she was behind.
i was afraid because i knew sometimes she 
would get her feelings hurt 
and i couldn't be there to protect her.
i was afraid because of what she 
could be exposed to...
so many things could happen...

after tearful discussions with my husband,
i started looking around at public schools.
we are in the county, but one of the surrounding
areas has a great school system and accepted us.
i wasn't so sure that i wanted to be accepted--
but i knew that our decision to send 
sydney to school could not be fear based. 
it had to be based on what was best for her.
god is bigger than all of our fears:

You have searched me, LORD,
   and you know me.
 You know when I sit and when I rise;
   you perceive my thoughts from afar.
 You discern my going out and my lying down;
   you are familiar with all my ways.
 Before a word is on my tongue
   you, LORD, know it completely.
 You hem me in behind and before,
   and you lay your hand upon me.
 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
   too lofty for me to attain. 
--Psalm 139:1-5 

after much prayer and searching,
we decided to enroll her.

i was sick. i felt like a failure.
 she was elated.

 monday morning came, and i was so nervous and
preoccupied that i forgot to tell my sweet friend 
to help herself to the coffee, and feel free to feed her
son whom she had to drag out of bed
to come sit at my house to watch my other 3 while
syd and i drove to school.





 but as i drove her to school that day,
peace filled me.
i knew we had done the right thing.
still, i wrestled with feelings i couldn't sort out.

she was so tired when i picked her up.
she loved school, especially the social aspect.
 academically, she had been overwhelmed.
i was right, she is behind.

i continued to wrestle with those feelings,
even after she was home.
i was emotional and snappy with my family.
that night, i had a dream.
sydney's teacher was talking to me,
and i was sobbing.
when i woke up, it hit me--
i am carrying guilt for her being behind.

we did the best we could last year.
kids are different, and my sweet girl wasn't ready.
i feel confident that she will catch up soon, 
and i am excited to watch her blossom.


tuesday brought a new level of letting go.
it was her first day on the bus.
i had a picture in my mind of her sitting alone,
sad and scared...
thankfully, jesus took care of that one, too.
there is another 1st grader at the bus stop,
and she was happy to let syd sit with her.
the bus pulled up, and syd ran in.
she was grinning from ear to ear,
waving from the window by her seat.
i turned to walk home, 
fighting back tears.

four o'clock couldn't come fast enough.
finally, the bus pulled up,

and there was my girl, coming up the street
as fast as her legs could carry her, 
braids flying behind her as she ran.
but she wasn't in a hurry to see me.
she was racing her friend.

i think she's going to be just fine...
and so am i.


Sarah said...

i can't believe how MUCH she is starting to look like you!!! oh and ali's shoes are adorable! I am glad she is doing ok and she will make so many friends at school. She will be fine!

Life With The Leyba's said...

I know as moms we want what's best for our kids and sometimes that entails difficult decisions and I know how much you struggled with this one. Some days will be harder than others but I'm glad things are starting off so well!

mamafish said...

I love your honesty. I appreciate that you tried to be Teacher and Mommy because I decided right away that I wouldn't even try it. I'm a "teacher by trade". 6 years of teaching other people's kids, and I wasn't going to use those skills with my own kids-in a formal setting. See Elly and I are too much alike. She and I are both controlling beasts. We are both leaders and strong. I knew it wouldn't be good either of us. She attends a school that scored 3rd in the district for the State tests. Budgets are small and needs are high. This year the district cut 1 more teacher per grade level. Her class has 32 kids. That means she has to vie with 31 others for her teacher's attn. But I'm ok with that. She has a great relationship with her teacher and did last year too. It means I can still be Mommy and then add support to her learning from a softer approach. You can do that too. Our schools are good, but limited. This is where you are invaluable! BTW, she is a super cutie! I love her sweet face....I bet she is a lot of fun!

Jess said...

i'm proud of you. i know you've wrestled with it all, but you are doing a fantastic job. celebrate the good days & know it is ok to cry on the bad days. <3 you!

p.s. that second silly face shot? pretty sure i have a picture of her mama with that same face. shall i dig & find it? :P

Heather said...

As always, you have to do what works for you family. You are a thoughtful, caring parent and it looks like Syd is going to thrive. Now you can just worry about teaching her the good stuff, like faith and how to milk goats ;)

Laura@happyroost said...

awe, such a cute story. One thing I've learned about kids (from being a nanny....no kids of my own) is they make friends incredibly fast! Its so much easier for them than it is for us as adults. Every time we'd go the park they would have made new friends and sometimes even be holding hands by the end of the hour, haha.

Just keep that in mind and hopefully you won't worry as much! She'll do great!


Mindy Harris said...

this is a wonderful post, dre. wish i would've known you are back to blogging and photographing. we need christmas pics. are you expensive? also, I LOVED THIS POST. what school is syd going to that isn't in wichita? we have no idea what to do with wilder..for now i am enrolling him in christian preschool. homeschool is not for me; i can't even do a craft with him without wanting to blow something up! ha.

Post a Comment

i love hearing from you! thanks for commenting!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...