Friday, February 22, 2008

I'll be mistaken for Heidi's grandmother when the hills come alive with the sound of music

If it is possible to feel both heartsick and resolved, then that is what I feel. We've decided to take the kids out of the daycare. Next Friday will be their last day. It was a difficult decision, and yet...not. Painful, because we have invested so much of ourselves in this school and our children have spent many a happy hour there. I have been a Parent Partner in Girl's class. I have helped with fundraising. I have been a loyal parent cheering on the teachers, and I even wrote a personal letter to city council members when it looked like the school might close if it didn't find a new location. My heart has been involved here. Perhaps, most significantly, until now, I have really, really believed in this school. However, the school that promotes itself as play based with a noncompetitive environment allowing each child to develop and mature emotionally, socially, physically and intellectually... truly doesn't exist here. I feel betrayed, angry and frustrated. On the other hand, I also feel empowered and clear. It is the right decision. We will, naturally, maintain and nurture the wonderful friendships which have grown over the last two years with other families, and create play dates so that the children will see their friends.

We told BOY and GIRL last night. I don't know what I was expecting. Protests from GIRL? Shouts of joy from BOY. Neither happened. Instead they seemed to take it in, and then were on to the next thing. I guess they are 3 and 4... Meanwhile...I needed a cocktail. In fact, I have been honoring the cocktail hour nightly. As my most witty friend says ..."it is 'wineO'clock.'" This week I've had some wineO'clock, some JackO'Clock, even some beerO'clock ...whatever works. And OF COURSE the requisite chocoO'clock-- which in case you are wondering is not liquid based. Always, always the chocolate.

The immediate plan is just to chill and regroup. I've signed us up for a nature class starting in April and we will make ourselves frequent visitors to the YMCA again. Yes, my body will become rock hard and I'll be mistaken for Heidi's grandmother when the hills come alive with the Sound of Music. Perhaps we'll do gymnastics twice a week instead of once. BOY & GIRL will get back into some kind of preschool routine, but perhaps it will just be a morning preschool program. Maybe starting in the fall. I'm thinking of this period as a fresh start, a renewal. The ice floes are melting away...and revealing a vibrant spring. My goal is to stay open to the possibilities and to nuzzle on my children. For I am so blessed to have this time to reassess with them. Everything happens for a reason...

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  1. Yes it does - everything happens for a reason.

    I had my children in Mother's-Day-Out at our church - where they went three times a week for three hours in the morning - when they were about 3 years old. Then when they were 4, I put them in 1/2 day preschool - also at the church. My twins were identified as gifted since they were 5 years old and have been in accelerated classes until HS, where now they are in all AP courses and maintain straight A's. My son is not in the gifted program, but has been on the A or A/B honor roll all the way through elementary and Alexis is exhibiting the same abilities and she is in 1st grade. I tell you all this to let you know that I did nothing particularly special with these kids when it came to preschool - other than introduce them to the concept of a social environment with a bit of accedemic curriculum. I worked with all my kids at home as much as most mothers try to do (reading, flash cards, writing, spelling - you know). They have done well - at their each individual paces because I believe the best thing we have done is instill a belief that they can succeed, it is important to use their entire potential and we do have set expectations that they strive to do their very best. I never even graduated college - nor did my husband. But ... we know how to find and set a balance for our kids and so far it is working.

    You will find it too!! I wish you lots of luck and love!

    Have a good weekend - Kellan

  2. I feel so lucky that we have our little Montessori school down here. Both kids are there and they love it. The staff has dealt with D's challenges, and done so beautifully. There have been bumps, but I agree, having the time with your babies is of the utmost importance.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, it's Makersoclock here.

  3. Everything happends for a reason, even if you dont realise it at the tims.

  4. It's harder on you than on your kids, you know - you've built up all these relationships and social networks around the school and now some of that is going to change. Your kids will be fine, but you might have to find some new playmates!

  5. Oh, JCK, that feeling of relief at having made a hard decision rightly - it's so sweet. I really believe, based on the information you've written here, that you're doing the right thing for your son and yourself.

    I admire your clarity - it's a struggle for me.

    Raising my glass and my chocolate to you, sister.

  6. I also think you made the right decision. Of course, you do realize, that now your agent will call you with "the perfect job"? Just tell her you already have it.

  7. Good for you. I'm struggling with some public school issues, and trying to figure out if I stay and fight to make it better. (Which seems so hard.) Or do I make a new choice for my family.

    I'm not sure, just yet, but I understand what you mean by clarity. I just now I have to make a choice.

  8. I must be in a different time zone. We have Grey Gooseo'clock here.

    It sounds like you're making the right decision. Will you explain to the school why you're taking them out? It would be nice if there was hope for the school to learn from your experiences.

    Enjoy the nuzzling.

  9. It is amazing how we invest oursleves so much in something that is "for the kids," and often the kids are not nearly as invested as we think they are.

    It sounds like you have exactly the right perspective.

  10. I am sure you are doing the right thing--who would have thought you'd have to always be making decisions with kids?!
    You are right--everything happens for a reason (and it's always a better reason than you could have ever imagined!).

  11. I'm glad they took it well. It sounds like the right decision though based on what you've shared. You're a good mommy. :)

  12. I had this same feeling - you've hit it just right as between heartsick & resolved. I took my son out of a seemingly forward-thinking fantastic preschool. He was sad for a minute - missing friends & the routine - but grew to like our new plan and, more importantly, realized that his parents are his advocates and will do what needs to be done, even when it's difficult.

    Kudos to you for doing the hard thing that is ultimately the right thing.

    By the way, ChocoO'clock can be liquid-based if you use Godiva liqueur in your vodka ;)

  13. Whew! Doesn't it feel better to have that decision over? I think it is best. My first one did the preschool thing, but my second one didn't. They learn so much at home from us. Now you guys can have adventures during the day that wasn't possible before--what fun...

    Let me go to the fridge to decide what o'clock it is here...

  14. ChocoOclock is my favorite. it is always that time at my house...

    you are doing the right thing. you have to follow your gut on these things.....

  15. Due to a rather awful genetic make-up (family of boozers meets family of tee-tollers) I don't drink. Can you raise one for me too!

  16. Good for you!

    Enjoy your o'clocks! Wish I could join you! In person that is, because you know I'm joining you in spirit!

  17. I know that was a hard decision to make, but I was thinking that for awhile as you were posting about the problems they were having (their problems, not yours, not Boy's because he's fine). I agree with Jennifer, I hope the school gets a clue!
    I have been very lucky to be able to stay home with mine, although there are days when I wouldn't mind having 3 hours all by myself. Or 1 hour. I am raising the virgin pina colada, since my arthritis medication prevents me from indulging (talk about adding insult to injury), and feel free to call me when you're wondering what on earth you have done to yourself by eliminating all your free time (email me and I'll send you the phone number). It's all good, I promise.


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