In every year of being an adult, I eat one more “I Will Never.” This does not stop me from claiming them. I’m not completely fickle. There are some standards in my life I have not fallen from. But I will admit that as I grow, I learn. Say it with me people: As we grow, we learn. Therefore, make your words soft and sweet, for what you say, you may have to eat. Some of the highlights:
1: I will never stay in Maryland long enough to have children. -He’s 6
2. We will never purchase a home in Maryland. -We are looking into our second one now.
3. I will never adopt. -Our adoption home study is up for its 1 year update in April.
4. I will never be a stay at home mom. I want this house, and only double incomers can pay for it. -We don’t know. God Math, it just keeps working.
5. My child will never eat chicken nuggets. -We made it til 3 but developed a hilarious cheeseburger addiction.
6. My child will never attend public school here. -He’s in Kindergarten down the street.
7. Ok FINE, but he will NEVER ride that treacherous school bus!!! -I broke down 5 days into the school year.
Doesn’t this look terrifying?
Guys, enrolling my only child in public school scared the crap out of me. Please don’t laugh. I have lots of homeschooling friends. I love how they do things. I love homeschooling, in theory. I really, really do. But just about everyone who has met my son could agree that only one of us would come out alive in a homeschooling scenario for so many reasons. They would take up this whole blog.
So obviously private school was the answer, right? I mean, our Christian family is supposed to go to a Christian school if I am not able to shelter him beneath the umbrella of homeschooling, right? I am not making fun. I believed this last summer to my core and I wanted it badly. I just assumed that God was going to work out some sort of direct deposit system to assist in the funding since a. I still appeared to be too disabled to work and if we get a baby I will be completely unable to work and b. No one seemed to be giving us any financial aid even though I had politely explained God Math. I kept checking back with our bank, and no money had been magically deposited and flagged for private school, so by June of last summer, I was concerned. I actually decided to go ahead and ask God what he thought about it. I’m going to save you the long version, but I hope you’ll trust me when I say that he practically mailed me an answer the very day that I specifically prayed, “God, I am SO sorry that I never asked what you wanted us to do with this child. Is the money not coming? Do you actually want us to enroll him in (gulp) public school? Please, please forgive me for the rush, but I need to know very quickly. I actually need a sign and (gulp), I promise to put him where you want him. If you aren’t providing, off to public he goes.”
Guys, I had been very stubborn about this. Because, just as I did with our decision to stay in Maryland, and just as I did with our decision to adopt- when I finally chose to ask God for direction with a willing heart, with full submission that He knows is sincere, He has always answered me clear as a bell. This answer was so clear that I laughed and laughed and laughed. And the peace that followed was remarkable. Because why stress about being where your Heavenly Father has placed you? I would find it far more worrisome to be doing it on my own.
This school year has been spectacular. I have loved public school. My boy is right where he should be. And I have some advice to those mamas out there who are getting ready to make these decisions, and are finding these big schools to be so very scary for their little babies: I understand, but those kindergarten teachers still treat your babies like littles while teaching them how to grow up. It is not nearly as frightening as I had feared. Here’s another great thing. Schools LOVE volunteers. I pressed pretty hard from day 1, that I wanted to be in the classroom. That’s right, I want to helicopter, please!! So, his teacher accommodated me, and put me to work. I go in 3 afternoons a week, and get to work with certain kiddos during their reading time. I know every single child in his class. It is SO fun. Today I volunteered at a dental clinic there, and then in their “Reading Room” for the 2nd graders and some kindergartener. Tomorrow I get to ride the school bus with them as a chaperone on their museum field trip. I ate lunch with my boy for the first time ever today, and they were all calling dibs on who I would sit by tomorrow, and one precious boy bribed me with his rainbow loom bracelet. SOLD.
I mean, am I not getting the best of both worlds?! What if I had pushed forward with my big plans, insisting that he MUST have a Christian education, even if I have to work at the school for it? I would be working there, full time (assuming I’d been hired), not in his class, and still owing them money at the end of the day! Don’t be too hard on me for this thought, but, what would happen if ALL the Christians put their kids in Christian school or private school? What if all the Christian teachers went to Christian schools? I’m so glad they don’t, because we kind of need to spread out. Do not get me wrong. I LOVE a Christian education, and every decision is so personal (and one baby step at a time!). Our son is still getting one though, just not officially. Seeing his classroom and school inside and out helps me facilitate that at home. He is learning a great deal about people who are not like him in all kinds of ways, and learning what it means to love each and every one of them. That’s definitely a Christian education. So, “Christian School” was not the plan for now, and we are just thrilled about it.
I hope this encourages you. Your I’ll Nevers could be your Nexts. And they may not be so scary!
ps. I know some of you would love to volunteer like this but have babies at home or jobs. I do know some moms that swap childcare so they can go in just once a week to volunteer. Even one time slot a week, or every other, lets you learn so much about what is happening in your child’s classroom! Priceless.