I find myself in a conflicted place.
The school across the street is reopening.
But it is not reopening for my kids and my community.
We bought our house across the street from the school so our kids could go there. We loved walking to school. We loved that all of their friends lived in walking distance of us. We loved the staff. We just loved it.
And then we lost it.
I poured my heart and soul into trying to keep that school open. I
lost sleep, sat through hours and hours of meetings, cried buckets of
tears, and nearly broke. I became angry. I became jaded.
And then it started feeling personal... even though I know it wasn't.
My property line became the great divide. Everyone to my left gets to go to the school three blocks down the road. Me and everyone to my right got bused four miles away... to the school we originally chose not to go to.
For most, when school started back up the following year and everyone was in their new places, it was over for them. They could work on settling and moving forward.
But that wasn't the case for me. I had to continue to pay attention to what was happening because I had to worry about who would move into the empty building across the street. There were more long meetings to sit through. More information to hold on to. More tears and frustration.
And now... now it's a school again... because another one in the district has lead, copper, and e coli in the water. They need a place to finish out the year while the issues at their building get fixed.
I watched all week as they worked non-stop to reopen the building and transfer all the stuff from one school to another. One moment I would find myself near tears. The next excited. Excited for the empty hole in my neighborhood to be filled in the best way possible once again.
And then I found myself near tears again because my kids wouldn't be there. My neighbors wouldn't be there. In fact, I won't know anyone there at all.
Tomorrow morning they come. I'm sure they will be nervous and excited to be in a new place. But my kids will continue to say "No fair!!" They want to be back there. They want the school back that they never wanted to leave. The school that they cried for. The school they will always miss.
I'm not sure what will happen tomorrow. I don't know if I'll cry because it feels so unfair... or if I'll be at peace with it being full of life again. I'll probably be back and forth between those emotions.
I will just have to keep reminding myself of the things I tell my kids... Those kids need it more right now. And we have to remember that it won't be "our school". It won't have the teachers we had. Our friends and neighbors won't be there.
Liza and Jason are really happy where they are, in private school. They love it. But that doesn't make this situation easy. (I wish I had a picture of the look on their faces when I told them the news!)
My silver lining... I don't have to worry about the sale of the building for the next few months. And there will be the sound of children in my neighborhood again.
And in a way... this makes it a little easier to let go.
I'm calling it the encore.