I remember becoming emotionally challenged with continuing to make the decision to walk out of my house everyday, knowing I wouldn’t be home until evening.
Which eventually led me to leave “corporate America“. Specifically, I felt challenged to be with my youngest, since the others were in school.
The reality was, I’d still have to find a way to make ends meet financially. My husband was abundantly clear on this!
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All I knew was, my heart was aching to be with them. All the other stuff,was going to take some time to figure out. Before I left my job, my mom had been staying with us, and helping watch her newest grandchild.
Entertaining the idea of our baby going to daycare, was never even a thought! I mean, I didn’t even take her to childcare at church, so c’mon…
Well, Uh…You See
The primary reason was, I got little bonding time in with her before I’d have to go back to work. There wasn’t another second I was willing to miss!
It’s not like anything was lacking with my other three kids, before she was born, to make me not want to be there for them. Actually, I’d been feeling this stirring for a few years.
Challenged to Mature
The life I had when they were younger, when my maturity level was still growing, was completely different. My love for them was just as overwhelming; the biggest difference was that I had been changing.
Knowing the youngest was my last time to be a mommy, made my protectiveness go in overdrive. I had to guard this blessing, and cherish the moments I had.
There’s No Stopping Her Now
Like children tend to, she grew quickly. And now, with the time we had, we were developing an even stronger connection.
When her 4th birthday was rolling around, it began seeming like I heard about pre-k everywhere. Only one of my other kids had gone, but they had all been in daycare.
As I began to learn more about pre-k, I began having a realization, too. My child was in desperate need of other kids to interact with!
All In the Family
Though my mother-in-law was operating a home daycare – which we’d utilize here and there – it didn’t work out to go on a regular basis. We sure did hear our girl tell us about the fun she had, a bazillion times or so, though!
Unfortunately, we were locationally challenged regarding this.
So I made a decision to start looking into what I’d need to do to get her into pre-k! At exactly the same time school was starting.
Challenged By Running a Business
We were barely qualifying, come to find out, because families were requiring being under a certain income for acceptance. Luckily though, I had just began my real estate business.
This came after a couple of other failures attempting to operate different “home businesses”, but it was a “perfect ending”, because I love my career in real estate! I still was able to office from home, accommodating my desire to be with the kids.
So, because I was starting my business, our taxes also was showing our income where it was needing to be, allowing us to proceed registering her for pre-k!
I wasn’t realizing that all elementary schools weren’t offering this, so she’d have to attend the nearest one. The location wasn’t far at all, and I was happy to find out it was a newer school!
We were finally able to get her in just a week late, once all the paperwork was complete.
It was a little rough transitioning her into a whole new experience. She was adjusting to the changes – teachers, “structure” (eh in pre-k, they do what they can).
Womens Hot Metal Superhero Costume
After the first week though, she was loving it! The kids were a big part of that, but the teachers were also great.
Progress, Not Perfection
She’d still struggle with days they’d do something different from the regular schedule, like: picture day, substitute teachers, etc. The teachers were brilliant in how they’d calm her anxiety, like bringing her favorite color play-dough to the cafeteria, while waiting for their pictures to be taken.
About halfway through, her teacher came to me, suggesting we establish a meeting with a lady in the speech department. She felt like our girl might need some help communicating.
She was able to use words fine; it was her social skills that were lacking. On another note, I was noticing her improvement in many areas, which I’d see by her spelling out everybody’s names or trying to not “scribble-scrabble” while coloring.
I’d love seeing the awesome ways she was progressing! It was quite a thrill, being able to witness a great experience take place for our girl in school.
Preparing For Kinder
In the areas needing improvement, we were chalking it up to her being younger and this being her first time in a group setting. Her birthday falls on the 31st; the cutoff to be four to start pre-k, was on the 1st, so she was the youngest.
By the end of that year, she was definitely coming around though; enough to get the thumbs up from her teacher. She was ready for Kindergarten!
Summer, Summer, Summertime
That summer, while waiting for the school-year to start, I’d find it nerve-wracking thinking of my “baby” being at a new school. At least it was going to be the same school for the next six years, though.
I’d also get nervous about her going for full days now, and being with a new teacher. Daily, I’d pray for God’s hand being over these things.
I’d always make sure to put on my face of excitement though, when she’d start gushing about school. Then “meet the teacher” night finally came – and that’s when her nerves began kicking in.
All for Nothing
Thankfully, it wasn’t necessary though!
I had been preparing backups, just in case. In case..we felt our daughter was being overwhelmingly challenged.
“Well, if it doesn’t work, I can always try home-schooling her.”
This was an option I had come up with…Except she was as receptive to learning from me, as an Aggie is a “tea sipper”!
The main roadblock though? That part about needing kids to interact with!
Another backup I’d thought of: “I could always look at Montessori schools, for her to have more one-on-one attention.”
Then, I’d remember, money was the issue here. The financial issue wasn’t an easy one to overcome right now.
Thankfully, again..this was all shown to be a completely empty line of reasoning!
“Giving it the old college try” might be what I was telling myself in the beginning, albeit not very convincingly, but let’s be honest – I was preparing for the worst. Instead, I should’ve been waiting expectantly for God to answer my prayers, because it’s exactly what He did.
Chalking it up completely to His blessings, the teacher she got was an absolute dream!
Just A Girl and Her Teacher
There’s no better gift a mother could receive, than the one I got in my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher. From the very first moment they met, there was a connection!
Day in, day out, I got to watch this teacher lavishing pure love and excitement on the kids. Then..came the second week of Kindergarten.
Luck of the Draw
The second week, a letter got sent home telling me that my daughter was part of this random selection the principal did, and they were wanting to move her into a different class, to balance the amount of students in the rooms. As I read this letter, my heart began quickly sinking, thinking this challenged us more than I could imagine.
I put a call in to our principal, bringing up my concerns, which was that our daughter had already found an attachment with this teacher! She began asking me if I’d reconsider, and telling me the other Kinder teachers were just as wonderful.
She also told me she’d be happy to talk some more the next evening, at parent night, which I was planning on attending.
Asking for Clarity
Immediately, I began to pray about it, even mentioning it to my daughter, which was instantly shot down. Then I met with her teacher – her current teacher, that my girl had already given her heart to.
I told her about what was going on, and she graciously paid praise to the other Kindergarten teachers; then she told me that I – in no way – had to agree with this. I already knew this, of course, but her acknowledging my feelings brought tears to my eyes!
I’m THAT Mom
I never want to be thought of as the parent unwilling to cooperate with the school, but NOTHING about this sat well with me.
During our conversation, I told my daughter’s teacher she was exactly who we’d been praying for all summer. And what a blessing it was, to be able and feel confident about her care, as I left each day.
She told me I was going to make her cry, which wouldn’t be the only time I’d hear her say this!
I spoke with the principal that evening, giving her my decision – and you know what? I couldn’t be any happier about it..trusting my instincts.
Throughout Kindergarten, her teacher set up many meetings with me (that’d end up being a good hour or so, with all our jibber-jabber) to go over my daughter’s progress, and tell me to work on certain things. There was a lot of appreciation felt for her openness!
She Gets Me
What it really came down to was, I felt – through an unspoken communication – that she could see the hope in my eyes – for my girl’s success. I also got to be her room mom, assisting with things she was needing: parent communication, making copies of papers (I even got a lesson on laminating!) and helping plan classroom parties.
Our talks would be about how she could identify with our daughter, being the “baby” of the class, because she also was an August baby – amongst other topics. She just had a way of bringing peace!
We think about her all the time – during summer (after Kinder), and now, in first grade. Though my daughter’s new class is just right down the hall and we still stop for hugs or a wave, we don’t get to see her nearly as much.
My daughter’s heart still bursts with love for her precious teacher though, and words couldn’t do it justice. It’s the actions…I see it in how she spots her across the hall, when we’re on the way to her new class, and then quietly whispers her name with a little grin.
Then there’s the times we’re walking in, and she picks a flower for me and after pausing a second, turns and grabs one more for the other woman who holds a piece of her heart. That’s when I see the love bursting from her..and secretly, my love kinda does, too.
She’s a once-in-a-lifetime teacher, going well over any job requirement, sent to be the angel that we were needing. Though I pray we cross paths with many more great teachers on this journey, my heart tells me, that she was always meant to start this new season for us: a mom, struggling to let go; and a boundary-pushing, spitfire of an August “baby”, just learning to spread her wings.
And So It Goes
Currently, we continue being challenged in our blessings on this parenting quest – with a first grader, a sophomore, a newly-married college student and our oldest, who’s figuring out life on her own journey!
Though they’re never really on their own, are they, moms? We sit back, quietly watching, repeatedly praying, smiling, crying…
Because it’s what we do. Our babies will be okay, as they learn to overcome what their challenged with! And when they need us – they don’t have very far to look.
Tell me about what you’ve done, as your family’s been challenged by whatever life’s throwing at you. Do you have experiences with your own little boundary-pushers?
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Thank you for reading. God bless! XOXO