I had mentioned previously how I worried that my son was being “labeled” because of his father’s death. Apparently, the public school isn’t that concerned because we found out that kiddo didn’t get in… well, rather probing questions determined that we didn’t get in…
I’m calling to see if my son got into Pre-K?
Papers shuffle and lady returns… “If you didn’t get something in the mail, you’re still on the waiting list.”
Isn’t today the decision day? (today being the 17th with Preschool starting on the 27th and a parent conference in between)
I pause… wondering just how exactly I would receive something sent via United States Postal Service on the SAME day… I briefly ponder if I am an idiot because the woman sounded so confident and self assured. Then I bite my tongue, take a deep breath and try to inhale some tact… So, you’re telling me he didn’t get in?
Way to beat around the bush… rolls eyes… This was Friday right before I had to go to work. I half debated calling for a personal day, so I could attempt to find a Pre-K (that still had openings and that I could afford), so my child wouldn’t be forever behind in life. The other part of me thought SCREW IT!!! Child can learn his alphabet through Leaky Creek Preschool and Phillips Academy… and whatever we miss the public school can worry about catching him up…
Sunday, my parents asked if we’d heard about Pre-K. Not thinking, I told them in front of kiddo.
On the ride home kiddo says, “Mommy, I want to go to school,” in a sad, heartbreaking voice.
So, first thing Monday morning I called a program that I could afford that had been recommended. They had just a few spots for two day a week. I paused, I was hoping for 3 or 5 days. Two just didn’t seem like much. But maybe it was better than nothing. Then the lady checked… there was ONE opening in the 3 day a week class. She said that if we were interested, she suggested we act on it because they were getting calls from people in the same predicament as myself. I figured I didn’t have a lot of time before the people stopped waiting for their mail and realized the the secretary had ACTUALLY told them. I threw kiddo, who now had changed his mind and didn’t want to go to school, into the car and away we went… no time for a shower.
I parked the car and then for a moment my heart stopped… not because my baby is growing up and starting school… no… because the last time I’d walked through those doors, I’d had a different last name. The last time I’d walked through those doors, I hadn’t been alone. The last time I’d walked through those doors was when we’d met with the preacher before we gotten married. Visions of smiles, complete happiness, John’s goofiness, young love danced in my head. For a moment, I didn’t want to cross through those doors… I wanted to go anywhere but through them alone.
But, time was ticking… the horses needed fed… I needed to buy grain… and, if I hesitated longer, some woman in a mini-van might arrive and steal that last spot.
And then for a moment, I thought, this would probably be a decision that would make John happy. The preacher who married us, and buried John, has since retired. John wasn’t a church person, but if he had to pick a church or a preacher this had been where he turned to. So, I took a deep breath and walked in the door. I approved of the rooms, his teacher seemed nice, and I liked the lady in charge. Usually, I’m that annoying, What about ____? How does this work____? Why do you do it that way? sort of person. Today, on what most would consider a momentous decision, I had relatively few questions. Looks good… where are the forms…
I started to fill out paperwork. There was that blank marked PARENTS. I still to this day can’t fathom not including John. John is Nathaniel’s father… and my husband. He gave kiddo half of his genetics and a lot of his personality traits. Without John, there would be no Nathaniel. So, I printed
John P. Smith II (deceased)
In some attempt to honor John as his father, but to acknowledge that he’s not actively here. Dad won’t be picking him up at school or going on field trips.
The lady in charge noticed what I’d written and we talked. She said she’d make sure the teacher knew. That was important to me.
Then she told me a story about a child who attended who had a great father. The child’s father dropped the kid off at school and then was killed in a car accident while the child was in school. She said that it was really hard because the father was such a great guy and everybody knew him. She said the school pulled together and mourned his loss, together and really supported the little girl.
I felt like I’d made the right choice. Kiddo will be in a small class where he is nurtured and encouraged to grow… not “labeled”… Oh… and kiddo is excited because his room has wooden trains and lots of track!!!