Being a parent is really hard.
I was warned. There was never any shortage of people giving me the heads up. There's the obvious stuff:
Like sleepless nights when the offspring are babies. The term Mombie comes to mind. It's a cruel experiment to see how long you can survive without sleep.
Like for several years you will smell like vomit. I used to wear at least 4 outfits everyday when the Stu monsters were babies.
Like the toddler-stage tantrums. I was terrified of my kids turning 2-3. The horror stories are real. It was rough.
Like the simultaneous pain and pride you'll feel when your baby goes off to school for the first time.
But all that?... It's nothing compared to parenting an 8-9 year old girl.
We moved our kids out of private school and into public school last year. That was a difficult thing for me and Stu because we were comfortable at the private school. That's where all of our friends were. That's all the school either of our kids had ever known. The school is small, intimate. There is a lot of communication between the faculty and parents. The parents are encouraged by the school to socialize together. It was nice knowing who our kids were in class with. It was comforting knowing that if there was a problem, we could reach out to the other family or teachers.
Public school was a rude awakening (of sorts). I taught in public school. And both Stu and I are graduates of public schools. So I know firsthand they are big, fast moving machines. And sometimes (despite Bush's wishes) a child is left behind.
Our current situation began almost immediately. Rea was the new kid. And all that came with that. She walked into a group of kids who (for the most part) had been in school together since kindergarten. She immediately fell in with two amazing girls. Stu and I are so happy that Rea found two kind, loving, beautiful souls to befriend. And if it weren't for these two, I am not sure she would have lasted as long as she did.
Rea has been picked on. Almost every single day. She has been made to feel bad about herself, her feelings, her thoughts, her intelligence, her looks, her taste in movies, and the list goes on.
We have watched our proud, independent, unique, incredible daughter shrink into herself over the last year. She has broken down countless times over the things kids have said and the way she has been made to feel.
When she, in conversation about her day, said she doesn't feel safe to be herself at school, we knew it was time to act.
Stu and I have had many conversations about what to do. Our initial desire was to put her back in the private school. It's not perfect (spoiler: there is no perfect place), but she was comfortable there. At this time though, that's not feasible.
We have decided to pull her out of school, and we are going to homeschool for the remainder of the school year.
When we told Rea, it looked like we lifted a weight off her shoulders. It almost made me cry. I know without a doubt, removing her from that environment was the right move for her. At least for now. We shall see what the future will bring.
Please pray for both of us as we slip into our new rolls.
My oldest child, Reagan, is 11 and my son Riley is 9. Baby 3 should arrive in January 2019. Everyday is a crazy day in the life of the Stus!