Let's start with a quick recap...
4 years ago we bought our house on Liza's first day of Kindergarten.
We bought a house directly across the street from the school our kids would be going to.
3 years later the school was closed and we were redistricted and moved to a different school.
We spent last year at a new-to-us school.
At the end of last school year we were offered a scholarship to a private school.
We began this school year at the private school.
Change is hard.
We looooved our first school. We spent three years getting to know the staff and the families and we became a part of the school and the community. I remember thinking that I would be a super longtime volunteer, because I would certainly continue to help out even after my kids moved on to the Jr High and High school. The school was across the street and therefore it and everyone who came with it was my neighbor.
Losing that school hurt... because we don't just go to school... we build relationships and become a part of the school. Dreams had to end along with the closing of our favorite school.
Then came last year. We had to go to the school that we had chosen to move away from when we were looking for a house. It just wasn't where we wanted to be. But we no longer had that choice... unless we wanted to move again and that was not going to happen. So we did the only thing we could do... we made the best of it.
Liza and Jason made friends. I joined PTO. I got to know the staff.
We spent a year building relationships and becoming a part of a new community. We thought it was where we would be for the next several years.
Then came the scholarship offer. Private school. Different opportunities. Small school like our first one. As we looked into the school we realized it was an opportunity we could not pass up. So we accepted the scholarship and began the application process.
We are about four weeks in and things are going well. The kids are making friends. I'm getting all my questions answered. Liza is beginning violin. Jason is learning to play the recorder. They both joined choir. They are enjoying the projects they do in their classes. They like their teachers. And surprisingly, they even like having a uniform.
It's a big adjustment, and we are still adjusting, but things are going well.
I have had several people assume that something bad happened at the public schools to make us leave and go to private school. I've had several people assume that I decided I wanted to shelter and protect my kids more and therefore sent them to private. I've had several people assume that we decided to go private because Jesus gets taught there. None of those things are true. I can teach them about Jesus at home. The last thing I want to do is shelter my kids. And nothing bad happened in our schools to make us leave.
Sure, the public school administration drives me nuts... but the teachers have always been outstanding, their hearts as big as they come. The families and kids we have met have added to our lives. We loved the people. We miss them. (Which would be why I found myself at last year's school this morning making copies for Jason's teacher again.)
The problem was that our hearts never fully settled. It was a hard year emotionally as we woke up each morning and saw our empty school across the street. But every day we took another step forward... because we had to.
I've come to think of the past like this...
The school across the street is our first love. It got taken from us far too soon and will always be number one in our hearts.
Last year's school was like a long layover. We were taken care of and treated well during our wait between destinations.
This year... We've landed again and our hearts are settling. Things feel right again.
We couldn't have done it without the kindness of strangers who became friends and favorites during our layover year.
I haven't found my place at the new school yet... but that will come with time... and I'm ok with that. This time around we can enjoy the journey of change and see where it takes us.
Change is hard... but when it's the right change it's a little bit easier.