We’ve all heard those words, right? From our parents, from our favorite TV parents, from other people’s parents…I didn’t just make that up right? Parenting is HARD…dear God it’s effin hard. Um, yeah, it’s hard.
And, we’re only at Kindergarten! I mean, holy Christmas, we’re only dealing with Kindergarten at this point. I admit that I’m a mom who says “I’m not paying for college! They can work their way through…blah, blah, blah.” If this week is any real testimony to what kind of mother I actually am, versus the exasperated, “whatever” mom I pretend to be, I’ll likely be working three jobs to put them through Yale (because it’s in Connecticut, not that it’s a good school or anything).
So, Kindergarten…I’ve been a little side-tracked since the whole “toilet wrecking our basement and bathroom and kitchen floor” fiasco that was our winter and spring…but suffice it to say, I’ve actually been taking care of my husband and kids this whole time. The first year of Pre-K for Ava ended and summer vacation has begun and at this point is coming to a close…in about 3 weeks.
I’m not willing to back-track and re-read my posts to find out if I’d shared this news, but at the end of the school year, (1) we had decided to have Ava repeat Pre-K to give her a better chance at being successful in Kindergarten when she finally started; (2) she got glasses because her right eye was crossing when she tried to focus close up; (3) she was stuttering a lot and it was getting worse.
Deciding to repeat Pre-K was a big deal. That was an agonizing decision. You want them to be ready for Kindergarten. You want them to be the same age as the kids in their class. You want to set them up for success, not watch them struggle and flounder when others expect them to do what they aren’t ready to do. I was gutted, but I was doing what I knew to be best based on the information we had. We hoped that some of her difficulties with school might be lessened by wearing glasses (she’s farsighted – she can’t focus well close up, hence the crossing eye), but she only had six days left of school once she started wearing them…not really long enough to tell if they were making a difference. As for her stutter, we’d started the ball rolling to get her speech therapy through the local school district, and as helpful as the staff at the district and local school were, they made it pretty clear that as a private school student, the likelihood of there being any resources left to help her were slim to none. Yay!
Last week everything changed, we’re going through a ridiculous vein of financial drama that I won’t get into, but it’s draining and annoying and we have no control in the situation other than to just “be still and know” that God already knows how this is going to play out and it’s not as big a deal as it feels like. As a result, it forced us to really take a long, hard, look at whether or not we could afford to send Ava to private school again this year. Then it forced us to take a look at what was best for her, versus what we wanted for her or wanted to be the best thing for her.
As usual, our idea of what’s best isn’t really what’s best at all. She needs speech therapy, plain and simple. She gets frustrated with her words, the stutter doesn’t keep her from talking, but it does make her harder to understand and she’s starting to “spread the stutter” to my friend’s children and to her own brother who otherwise speaks surprisingly well. It’s also getting worse, it needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. So we’re sending her to public school, so she can get the extra help she needs. It broke my heart to make that decision this week. It was so hard, but it is the best thing for her right now. Next year in my mind is so different than what it will be…I wanted her to have her same teachers. I wanted to keep those same teachers as my friends too. I’ve been telling myself that she needed to repeat Pre-K for so long, that sending her to Kindergarten when she may not be ready (not to mention the possibility of sending her to full day Kindergarten) has me fearful that she won’t be able to handle it. My mind is set on her doing Kindergarten twice, while Court sees her perfectly able to enter first grade the following year.
In reality, the first couple of weeks of school were probably going to be hard on her, seeing her former classmates go off in the Kindergarten line while she went with Mrs. Jones and the little kids. She’ll be in a whole new pack of kids. I’ll be in a whole new pack of moms. I didn’t make a very good impression with those other moms at the other school I think… Court was the drop off parent for most of the year and I just started in March, so I missed out on all the good, beginning of the year bonding. Plus, they were Christian School moms, so some of them were a little clique-y anyway and I did feel a bit out of place. I think I can handle making friends with these Martinez Elementary moms, not nearly as easily as Ava will make friends with their children. She’s truly a different kind of girl than I am, now all I have to do is stuff down all the crazy in my head and talk up this new school think as if it’s the best thing in the world, so that it really is the best thing in the world.
Look out Martinez Elementary – you have no idea what’s coming at you – the jumping bean that is Ava Newman, that’s what!