Thursday, August 13, 2015

Let Me Explain...


Three years ago we were in the waiting part of buying a house... waiting for all the things to happen so that we could actually close on it.

When we started looking for a house, we chose to move away from the area we were living in because we decided that the school was not the one we wanted to send our kids to. And we chose to move to our current home, directly across the street from the school that we chose.

And we loved our school.
It gave us such a strong sense of community.
It was home.
A family.
A unit of people coming together daily.

It's was a unique school.
Better than I ever imagined it would be.

But last year we found out that it was going to be taken from us.
Closed.
Sold.
No longer a school.

Many of us fought this decision because so much about it was crazy and wrong. We were hearing things like:
It's about socio-economic integration.
If we put the kids with lower test scores into the schools with higher scores we'll all look better.
We want those kids to have more opportunities. (We are those kids. And we don't need the opportunity they speak of. We have plenty.)

Politicians doing politics.

But here we are... with a closed school and a new one to go to.
And I don't like it. I don't like any of it.

I've had a lot of well-meaning people make comments over the past few weeks that I'm sure they thought were helpful at the time... but they weren't. Sometimes those well-meaning comments can make the process of coming to terms with the change even harder.

Let me explain...

We LOVED our school. We lost it. We are grieving. We need to be allowed to grieve because it is a great loss. 

I am nervous about the sale of the building and what will become of our neighborhood and our property value. There is a house across the street for sale that no one wants to even look at... I'm guessing because everything is up in the air with what will happen to the building.

I am forced to a "new school"... which just so happens to be the school we chose NOT to go to.

Nothing about this is easy for me.
I'm trying to accept the fact that I lost everything... including the choice of which public school I want to send my kids to... because I made that choice three years ago and I can't afford to just sell my house and move again.

Change takes time.
No one should expect another person to feel the same as they do about it.

Many have said the kids will be ok. I know mine will be ok because I'm going to make sure they are.

Many have made me feel silly for having anxiety... but I totally feel like the new kid in a huge school. 850 students is massive to us!

My kids will be riding the bus for the first time ever. I'm used to walking them to the school every morning. Putting them on the bus is new for me. I know most of my friends are used to this by now and can't understand my anxiety over it... but I ask that those friends think back to how they felt the first time they put their precious kids on a bus. It doesn't matter that mine are older now... I still have those first time feelings.

And speaking of buses... I finally found out how we learn busing info. When we toured the school last week the assistant principal told me it will come like it does every year. I had to remind him that no one at our school got bused so we had no idea how it came in years past.

People forget that our school was different.
And because of that, the changes for us are different than they are for others.

This is a hard time for many.
I wish I could be one of those people that is perfectly ok with all the changes and excited and ready to go. But I'm not. (And I might even be a little bit jealous of how freely you can accept this change and move on.)

I am still grieving the loss of something our hearts had been fully wrapped around.
I often feel like I'm walking in the dark as I try to prepare my kids for the change because answers are hard to find.
I am angry that my choice was taken away.
I wonder if the other moms will like and accept me.
I'm nervous about putting my kids on the bus on the first day of school.
And that's just the start of my list of things...

So to my wonderful friends, I know you mean well, I really do! But please accept that I feel this way. Try to step in my shoes and see from my perspective. Let me feel this way... because allowing myself to feel is how I process. It may seem like I'm stuck, but I assure you that I am moving forward. Maybe at a snails pace, but progress is progress.

And pray for me.

Because right now I'm preparing myself for the first day...
The day I put my kids on the bus for the first time and sit here hoping that they find their classrooms ok and have a familiar face in their classroom.

The day where kids no longer walk past my house on the way to school and stop to say hi, and instead are bused out of the neighborhood.

The day where I will sit and listen to the silence because there will be no recess on the playground. Another great loss... because kids playing is my favorite sound.

School starts in 26 days.
It is likely that I will still not be ok with it all at that time.
And that's ok.
Because I will put on my brave face for my kids and wave and smile as they ride off on the bus.
And then I'll meet my friends at a coffee shop to help me cope and get through the day.



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