Friday, May 15, 2015

Some Other Beginning's End

School. Educating our kids. I never knew that making these decisions would be some of the most difficult of parenthood, but they are. I'm glad we have options - good GRIEF, are we fortunate? We've had the option of looking at our whole child and trying to make the best possible choices for him, to start him out on a path that will help him love to learn. Not everyone gets that, and I know it.

For pre-school and Kindergarten, I taught him at home, and I supplemented that with playgroups and lessons where I was NOT the boss, so he could get out and be with other kids and adults. The J-bird and I have always worked really well together, so this was a good arrangement for us. In 1st grade, we started him out at a fantastic small Montessori school in our town. We have absolutely LOVED it there, and the J-bird has flourished. I believe so much in the Montessori method, and I use it at home with Miss V for her pre-school. His school asked me during his first year there to come in once a week to teach music, and it's been my privilege to do that for the last two years.

The growth the J-bird has experienced in just two years is pretty astonishing. We had hoped for another year of Montessori, and we were planning to send Miss V to the same school starting in 1st grade, but his wonderful teacher is retiring, and his classroom is going away (remember when I said it was a small school?), so our perfect plan has to be re-planned. Sometimes that happens. The unknown of a new school, a different type of class, standardized testing and homework and LOTS OF's all a little overwhelming right now. As I told my little J-bird though, we're in this together, and we can always make a new plan.
So this morning, I took him to school at his FIRST school for the last time. The morning was rough. He climbed into bed with me, first thing.  Then, he couldn't bring himself to get dressed for school, and he just kept looking at me with long, sad looks. He hesitated by the door, as we were heading to the car, gathering his courage, and I just looked at him and said, "You can do it.", because I know he can. It's one difficult day.

That's the thing about being a mother, man. It tears you in half. I wish I could make it easier, take away his sadness, promise him everything will be completely fine forever. BUT that wouldn't do him any favors, and it would be a big, fat lie. Everyone has to feel pain and sorrow and fear. We have to. It's part of life. I will always be here to hold him and listen to him and comfort him, but I can't make the difficult stuff go away.

The J-bird will be alright. He will get through today, square his shoulders, and compartmentalize it. I'll remember that sad little boy at the door a lot longer than he ever will, because I'm the mom. I'll store it up in my heart. Next year will either work out beautifully, or it'll be a disaster of worst fears realized, and we'll work out something new. Either way, I'm glad we've had everything leading up to now.

It's been great.

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