To say that I was anxious sending my kids off to public school this year would be an understatement. Lolo had a year and a half of public school before we started homeschooling (Four years ago!), but Gman has never been to public school. I mean he went to preschool, but it was at a small Christian school. It was safe, warm and fuzzy and full of felt board Bible stories. It oozed extra grace. Our family has always been an EGR (extra grace required) kind of family.
So we appreciated that in a school.
I had struggled with school decisions all summer. Homeschool again? Private school? Public school? Unschool and move to an island? I prayed for direction. I prayed for peace so I would know what to do. It didn’t happen. Since Lolo had expressed interest in going back to public school, I signed them up. And then I worried and obsessed about that decision for days on end.
A few weeks before school started, Gman looked into my eyes and said, “What if something happens to you and I’m not there?” Excuse me a second while I try to collect the shattered pieces of my heart! Of course it’s “normal” for a child who has recently lost a parent to worry that something will happen to their remain
ing parent, but, YOU GUYS! I could barely breathe. What if I’d made the wrong decision? Should I just homeschool again this year and keep them close and love them through their worries?
They’ve been through so much pain and loss. I can’t bear the thought of one more ounce of sadness or trial for them. What if the teachers are mean? What if they are bullied? What if they don’t have anyone to play with at recess? What if they get sad – who will love them when I’m not there?? Because don’t make me march into that school office. These are my babies! And they are so wonderful and talented and funny and kind-hearted. Do not ruin them. I mean it.
Just give them a minute, God – to rise up again? Protect them! Please! I know life is full of all the sufferings, but not yet, Lord. Please let them be ok for a minute. Give them time to heal. Despite all of the second-guessing, somewhere in my heart I knew we all needed this transition. I suspected it would be difficult, but I also knew we needed to prove to ourselves that we could do it. We could be brave and face fears and we could survive it all. Right?
So I scheduled meetings with the middle school Principal and counselor. I scheduled meetings with the elementary school Principal and counselor. I laid it all on the line. I didn’t even care that I came across as an over-doting (grief-stricken psycho) Mom. I think they all sensed the EGR factor, because they were totally compassionate and kind and went over-the-top to reassure me. They were on our side. Team EGR! Prayer answered.
The rest of summer flew by and finally the time had come. They started school. I felt good(ish) about the plan that was in place. We had reviewed, discussed and prepared for every scenario I could imagine….except one. It turns out finding their classrooms, figuring out locker combinations, making friends and managing homework wasn’t that big of a deal. Know what issue we missed? Know what the struggle has been for Gman? Something that wasn’t even on my radar?
Urinals! Lord Almighty. That one never crossed my mind. This morning over breakfast he told me all about the toilets on the wall at school. That’s normal family breakfast conversation, right? He told me he didn’t want to use them because he’s “not good at it.” As the person in this house who cleans the bathrooms, let me just tell you, he’s not good at the normal kind either. For the love of janitors, kid… Just sit. Crisis averted.
I think there’s a lesson in this for all of us. Sometimes you can plan and prepare and pray your heart out and there will still come a problem out of left field. It will be unexpected, confusing, difficult and you may not be good at it. And guess what? You’re allowed to sit