That was me and my husband last night at about 11:30. We had just crawled into bed. We were Thursday Night Tired, but it was Tuesday night. That means that when we woke up this morning, instead of the “I can do anything because it’s Friday” feeling that we would probably have had, we had a “holy [expletive] it’s [expletive] Wednesday” feeling. Not a good look.
Over the weekend, The Husband and I received decisions from the two elite preschools that we had applied to for Ursa Major. Receiving preschool admission decisions is like receiving college admission decisions: You stalk your mailbox (and inbox, too!) all week, waiting and hoping, you osculate between “I totally got in” and “I totally didn’t get in,” and then when you open up your mailbox, your heart leaps when you see the “big” envelope of “yes” as opposed to the “small” envelope of “no.” We got two big “yes” envelopes over the weekend, and I flew from the mailroom to our apartment, opening the contents on the walk back, too excited to wait. I get to the apartment, waving the large envelopes at my husband with a big proud smile, and of course, he says “did you see if we can afford it?”
Augh. No. I am trying to bask in the moment. Someone sees what we see when we look at Ursa Major: A child who has a lot of potential, who is deserving of an exceptional education.
So here we go. Envelope number one: “Sorry, we don’t have any money. We’ll put you on the wait list.”
Envelop number two: No letter regarding money at all. Well, that’s anticlimactic.
E-mail regarding envelope number two: “Sorry, we don’t have any money. We’ll put you on the wait list.”
I’m crestfallen. We knew that this might happen, but to have it actually happen, sucks. I’d rather they just give me the rejection letter.
So now I’m being advocacy mom. I want to know what the likelihood of getting money is, and how much it would be. I get two fantastic replies. Unfortunately, they aren’t helpful.
Envelope number one: “We might get money, and if we do, we’d only be able to give you about $4,500 in aid. Leaving the rest of the bill at $14,500, which is what your parent contribution number is.”
I’m going to let that sink in.
did that number hit you yet?
$14,500. For preschool.
For my 2 year old.
Who just has that kind of money sitting around like that? Why do you have to be a Trump/Romney/Bush/Clinton to be able to afford the best future for your children? On the other side of that, if we were closer to the poverty line, we’d probably be able to get a free ride (maybe?). It is just so hard to be stuck in the middle. When you are in the middle, you are just in the middle. It’s easy to slide down, but damn it is extra hard to move up.
It is so hard to be so close and yet so very, very far from giving my son what I know he needs to thrive. I know that we live in a world of limited resources, and that’s fine, but I feel like making exceptional education affordable should be something that we, as communities, should work on. The good news is that Ursa Major was accepted to another great preschool that is much more affordable (“only” $3,000), and will be just fine. It’s just not exceptional, or special. I’m just grateful that he’s going somewhere.
So that happened.
On Saturday we went to look at houses. One received an offer because we could even get in the door, so that was done. One was an absolute dump. The other was just ok. So we went home a little frustrated. On Sunday morning, we woke up excited about pancakes and a relaxed day–instead, we got a call from the Realtor asking if we wanted to see a house right away. We’d seen it online and weren’t terribly keen on it–it’s a bit of a fixer-upper, but she was like “let’s give it a shot.” So here we go, babies in tow, for the 45 minute drive out there to see this damned house.
And it was better than we thought. It’s not perfect, but it has a lot of potential. A lot of potential. But it’s a fixer-upper, and we have 2 young boys. Is it move-in ready? I say no. The Realtor says yes.
We see the vision, but we aren’t sold, so The Husband and I spent all of Sunday night squabbling.
and then we had our normal, busy Monday (and I wrote my rant of the week). We had both sought out various outside sources of advice, and we both turned the idea of that house around in our heads. Finally, we came to the conclusion that we should bid on the house.
So yesterday, among all of the other things that we had to do (including a 2-hour visit to the dentist for me), we read through the paper work, signed the various lines, and put in our first bid for our first house.
and crawled into bed at 11:30.
I don’t know what to tell you about this process. I know that we big on a house that is up for short-sale, so supposedly that means that it will actually take longer to get things done (how funny). We’re actually going to keep looking at other houses just in case this doesn’t go through. Which means more crazy and exhausting weekends.
Also, in an effort to stay sharp and intellectually active, I started two EdX courses this week. I’m excited to spend time thinking about things other than houses and preschools and babies… of course, two college-level courses is a huge time drain. But I need something to feel like I’m moving forward.
So with that, the new Pope has been elected, so I’m off to go see who emerges from the balcony!