We're a week into the new school year now. It has been a slow, laborious adjustment. Compared to Life in Fitzville's "pull the bandaid off quickly" method, we've chosen the "peel it off slowly and painfully, yanking out each little hair as you go" option. To be honest, we've been tugging at this bandage since sometime last Spring. What began as the hushed tones of a private, parental conversation has ended with a very visible, public result. This year, when school resumed, only The Boy returned to our parish school. B and H started third grade at my in-law's parish school, a few blocks down the road.
By late Spring, it was becoming clear to us that perhaps our current educational situation wasn't meeting all of our children's needs. As a parent, I don't think there is anything more sought after than seeing your child succeed; by which I emphatically don't mean watching them earn a big paycheck, drive a fancy car or move into a mansion. Our dreams for our children are more about morals and character and less about fame and fortune. To feel about themselves as God does, as His precious sons and daughters, and not to believe their worth is measured in standardized tests and progress reports. I'm talking about seeing them become the person that God, in all His glory, has designed them to be; which can be a very tricky situation when one of your children dove into the English language pool almost a decade later than her peers.
So, feeling torn, but deeply convicted in providing the very best for our children, we investigated our schooling options:
- Staying put. Not messing with the status quo. Leaving well enough alone. And any other number of euphemisms that meant we weren't ready to put our money where our mouths were (or our mouths where our money was-tuition wise, that is) and look at the real possibility that our current school was not the best fit for all of our children.
- Homeschooling. With my education and teaching background, this seemed like a viable option, until I had a little heart-to-heart with myself. I know many incredible homeschooling families. We are not one of them. My husband breathed a sigh of relief when this alternative was crossed off the list.
- Public school or a different private school. These two made the short list. We visited and researched our local private school and two nearby, different Catholic grade schools.
I listened attentively as my heart realized that enrollment in this school would remove the pictures of Jesus and His Blessed Mother from our kids' classrooms. It would erase the written words of Scripture and the spoken words of prayer that graced the halls and lips of a Catholic Christian school. As she finished talking, I turned to her and desperately said, "Yes. But it's going to be so different." This wise woman then took my hand, smiled at me and said, "You know, God brought you to each other from opposite ends of the earth and He's not going to leave you hanging on a simple school decision. Whatever happens, it's going to be okay." I nodded, unable to choke any words that might have been on my tongue out of my mouth, and left.
Her words played over and over in my mind through much of the Summer as our school quest continued; and then, last Wednesday, as the girl's hopped out of the truck for their first day at the new school, I smiled. God led us to a place for our girls that fits their needs right now. That's what happened, and it's going to be okay.