Photo: Taking my NaNo challenge very seriously! Printed out Act One and edited it by hand! But seriously, don’t read it…
What a week to be a mother. Steps forward and backward in the potty wars, a collapse of napping (again) and much consequences there of, a reminder that my toddlers are “working on” different areas of development and that I need to be patient and meet them where they are…
And a new cognitive level reached: Ursa Major has discovered the power of “Why.”
If I hadn’t been paying attention, I might not have noticed it, but Ursa Major figured out this week that he can notice something and then ask “why” that something is happening, and Mama will give him a pretty good explanation of what he’s looking at. That’s a huge thing for him to have learned, because now Mama isn’t just the mighty tyrant, but now she can be the walking encyclopedia of the world. I’m my kid’s first Google and Wikipedia and boy is my brain tired!
The educator in me is delighted to have reached this stage. Careful cultivation of this part of toddlerhood could mean that he will always be curious, that his mind will always be open to the fantastic and the wonderful and the new. I’ve tried to check my annoyance when we’ve gotten to “why” level 3 or 4, where it just keeps going and going… eventually you get to a level of sophistication that he’s not ready for and he’s on to the next thing.
And that, of course, has me thinking about some of the challenges that we’ve got ahead of us. I learned very recently that full-day kindergarten is available in our town for a very significant tuition (Over $3,000) while half-day kindergarten is free. This is a huge problem for me because Major is just so ready to be in school all day. I went to full-day kindergarten. I don’t understand why, especially in a community like this one, full-day kindergarten isn’t offered.
This presents a multi-level problem that has ramifications for all three of us:
First: There is the financial burden of shelling out a significant amount of money for another 2 years so that these boys may get the best schooling that we think we can get for them. (Granted, only one of those years will be a double tuition year, but still, it’s not a little bit of money.)
Second: If we choose not to put Ursa Major in full-day kindergarten, it means that both he and his brother will get out of school at the same time. That likely means that I will need to find a new school for Ursa Minor to attend for his last year of preschool, which removes us from a community that we’re now well established in and starting all over again for his last year, whereever he goes.
Third: If we choose not to put the boys in full-day kindergarten, it means that I have to stay home for at least one year longer than we thought because I will have to be here for the pick-ups and drop offs, which means another year with nothing to show on my resume and falling farther behind in whatever I’m supposed to be doing…
The entire thing is very frustrating. Just as when we started this whole school journey, I see my son and his potential, I know exactly what he needs and what will work best for him, but I will probably not have the financial means of providing it for him. I keep telling myself that this is a problem that all mothers face in the many iterations of motherhood and that I need to take a deep breath and stay focused… but it still hurts. I have very little control in the world, but I thought I’d gotten a handle on this.
I still have time to think about this, but my Quiet Thoughts are about the unexpected challenges of motherhood and trying to do this “right.” There are a lot of moving pieces and considerations to be had here and, frankly, we haven’t found an answer that is either elegant or happy. We’re going to be out a lot of money, or leaving our school community early or both, and I’m wondering when we should just go ahead and rip off the bandaid. I’m reminded today that sometimes it doesn’t matter how smart you are, or how efficient you are, or how many resources you have: there are just some decisions that have to be made that are hard to make and harder to execute.
Stay tuned on this one, dear reader.
On this cool and windy Friday, with milky skies and just a few remaining leaves on the trees, I wish you a moment to ask a good “why” question. Why is the sky blue? Why is this book so good? Why am I here instead of somewhere else? Why was I chosen to do this or that? Why not move this knight instead of this bishop? A good question to occupy your mind for a time, and hopefully lead to other questions and maybe a few answers. I wish you an excellent sandwich, hot and with mustard on it, with melted cheese and maybe some lettuce and onion and tomato, and I hope that it’s messy and requires lots of napkins to eat. And while you have it, I wish you a good piece of writing to read with it, something that sets your imagination alight. I wish you a someone who captures your imagination, sharing time and a laugh with you, a good story, a gentle touch, a quiet whisper. I wish you time to sleep and dream. I wish you love and joy, and the wisdom of knowing that you are deserving of both.
I’m posting Meadowlark part one. Don’t read it! Just… you know… let it sit there… but don’t… don’t read it. Cool? Cool.
Until Monday, take care.