Changes – Here, There and Everywhere

 

You may have read the last entry and thought “end of an era.” And you may have figured there would be no more entries.

And perhaps it is. And perhaps there won’t be. But I doubt it.

For now, for this school year and perhaps permanently, I have stepped down from my role of teaching core subjects and being my daughter’s primary educator. However, I remain her teacher, her mentor, in so many things that I already find myself with things to say.

For one, it is the first day of school for Emily. Her first day of public school, that is.

This morning, as we cuddled close she whispered, “I’m scared.”

I hugged her close and kissed her hair. I didn’t whisper reassurances, I didn’t tell her it would be easy peasy and that she would be a-okay. Instead I said,

“It’s okay to be scared. Just like it is okay to be excited. During this school year, you will probably feel everything from ‘why did I ever want to go to public school” to “I wish I could have been here since kindergarten.’ And all of that is okay and expected.” She nestled closer. “There will be kids who are mean, and kids who are nice. You will meet some who you can’t wait to be friends with and others who will probably never be okay. You will have teachers that you love, and teachers who you might wish you don’t have. There will be times when you are bored and times when you are fascinated by what you are learning. Just remember, to be yourself, sweetheart. Because you are wonderful. And I love you.”

Later, after I had walked her around the school, said hello to her homeroom teacher and hugged her goodbye at the door to the cafeteria, I walked home to fix breakfast for my dad.

I thought about this blog and decided a slight change in name would be appropriate. In fact, it is far more accurate. I am, and always have been an advocate of learning, in whatever form that takes. I can’t do much about the domain name for now, and I don’t know how much I will be posting here even still, but for now, the title reflects where I am, where we are.

I’ve come to some measure of peace with our decision. I made it for several reasons:

  • have to work. For our future, for our now, we must have the additional income.
  • Balancing so much, I have felt scattered, unprepared, and insufficient as Em’s teacher
  • The schism between my eldest, specifically her memories, however inaccurate they were, has caused me to question everything (my parenting, my teaching skills, even who I am as a human being) all over again and has put me in a mental space that adds to my fears of being less of the teacher Em needs.

While I continue to recover from that last reason, I don’t feel it is fair for Em to be caught in the middle. She deserves me to be steadfast, reliable and loving – something I cannot be when I am constantly questioning myself. It doesn’t make for a good learning experience.

I look forward to seeing her smiling face as she exits school today. I hope she will have a skip in her step, I hope she will have made a friend, or even a handful, and I hope she will tell me about each and every one of her teachers. I’ll be waiting on the corner for her, knowing I have done something right if she is happy and less scared and at peace with this new dynamic.

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2 Responses to Changes – Here, There and Everywhere

  1. Amy says:

    You cannot ever judge yourself so harshly on your kids’ happiness. They have to own their own place in life. My oldest blames me, and religion, and homeschooling- but mostly me for doing that to him. Nothing is ever good enoughfor the firstborn.
    Enjoy your new role. And join my efforts to be a home-school advocate. I have long wanted to do a school psychology study on how to get the best of homeschooling into the schools so as to make homeschooling a less attractive choice to us rebels and malcontents.

    • Christine says:

      I’m sure I’ll get there some day, Amy. But after what seemed like 18 wonderful months together, reading that post was hard. As one friend said, “If she really feels that way about you, then she should be in movies because she sure did seem convincing that she was happy to be in your home and around you and yours.”

      So I remain confused and hurt by all of this. And I doubt it will go away anytime soon.