It was easily one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do as mom. I know he wanted to come with me, and though I so wanted to grab him in my arms and take him home, I gave him the best smile I could, told him that I loved him and walked away. I sobbed all the way to the van and buried my face into Darci’s chest. It took a lot of prayer to get me through that first day of school.
We put the boys (all three of them) into public school this year. We talked about half days, homeschooling again and I even visited a private school, but nothing felt right and in the end I was super impressed by my visit to the public school. Even more so than the private school I went to, this public school is very concerned with parents being the first teachers and they are all about parent involvement. They gave me a tour, introduced me to several teachers and sent me home with literature to go over. Eventually… I came to feel really good about making the decision to send the kids there. However, it did not make that first day any easier.
We went to orientation the day before school started and met their teachers (who I love) and I joined the PTA. The next morning I helped the boys to find and get into their classroom lines before I went inside to pick up some things from the principal. When I came back outside I could see Brice in his line; there was a boy talking to him and I could tell he wasn’t being very nice. The boy had told Brice to get behind him, even though Brice had been there first, and as I approached Brice and his eyes met mine it took all he had not to start crying. I know he wanted to leave right then, but I told him that I loved him and to have a good day and that after school we would go out for ice cream to celebrate. Then I walked over to Trent’s line to say good bye and he was so nervous that he wouldn’t even look at me, let alone say good bye or give me a hug.
I prayed all day long. And when I got back to the school to pick them up I was greeted with big smiles and lots of stories about how awesome the first day was and about the new friends they each had made. Aside from Brice needing to learn the importance of homework (we can’t just disregard the papers that teachers send home anymore) public school has been going really well. I have already gotten to know their teachers, have had phone conversations with them and am scheduled to volunteer in the classrooms. The boys look forward to school each morning and I send them off with smiles, lunch and a big kiss (yes, they will still give me kisses).
I don’t know if they will all stay in public school, but it seems to be a good fit for our family right now. And although it was a very difficult decision for me to come to, I’ve realized that public school doesn’t make me any less of a mom, and I can still be involved in their education, and they can survive the world, and year to year or even semester to semester we can make different choices to fit the needs of our family.