Back to School in a Big Way

Last month I took my oldest son to college … those are words I thought would not be spoken for a LONG time. Yet here we are. For once I’m agreeing with Tom – we should have waited and had Spencer go to kindergarten when he was almost six instead of almost five. Then I’d have one more year with my boy at home. I never really thought I’d be that emotional about this. I’ve always been excited for my kids as they have become more independent and self-sufficient. I LOVED college and I’ve been excited for Spencer to start having some of those great experiences himself. I was even kind of looking forward to when he was not living at home so I could clean up some of his perpetually messy places and have them STAY cleaned up (hi Spencer!). So I was NOT prepared for how sad I felt when I left Spencer – I just gave him a hug and walked out of his apartment and drove away and all along I kept thinking this was one of the weirdest things I have ever done – to step out of the daily life of one of my children.  And he was sad too, which I didn’t expect, but maybe should have.

According to Spencer, he is liking college life over all (though I think he is pretty much hating Economics!).  I don’t think he is sad anymore (or else he is hiding it well).  Funnily enough, I keep having these waves of missing him – I’ve been driving his car around and occasionally I’ll think that it wasn’t that long ago that he was heading off to work or school – and that part of his life is over now.  And then I’ll be sad …  I’m not sure exactly what I’m sad about, because I don’t want him living in my basement indefinitely.  If he hadn’t gone to college I’d be fretting that he wasn’t being productive or moving forward with his life … but my job as his full-time mom ended a lot faster than I thought it would and I guess I wasn’t as ready as I thought I would be.

Along with all the drama of getting Spencer ready to go to school, Andrew and Haley started school.  Andrew is now officially a middle-schooler.  The whole school issue with Andrew has been a huge trauma.  I have been so worried about sending Andrew to our local middle school because he just needs so much supervision/attention from his teachers.  I found a charter school (Hope Online) that had a learning center sort of close to where we live.  Tom and I went and toured the center which was located in a local church.  Tom wasn’t impressed with the actual center.  I was very attracted to the super small environment – about 25 kids in the center from kindergarten through high school – three mixed age classrooms with a great adult to kid ratio.  Plus, we would be able to see exactly what Andrew did or didn’t do in school because a good portion of the work was done on the computer and we could sign in to his account daily if we needed to.  So … we applied, they reviewed his IEP, they accepted him, and then two days before our local middle school started, I got a phone call saying the center was closing.  ARGGHH!  It was a mad scramble to get him enrolled back at the middle school.  He has struggled.  Tom  and I feel like we’re in the dark about what exactly he is doing and not doing in terms of school work.  The homework battles have started up again (although he stayed after school for the daily study hall a few times this past week and that really helped … he comes home with everything already done).  It remains to be seen how things will all work out.  I hope it will be better than I anticipated (but I’m not holding my breath).

Haley is attending her last year in elementary (wow – can’t quite believe that, though I’m really ready to not walk into that building anymore).  She is enjoying being on her own at the school and is doing well.  She joined choir again and is still playing flute in the band and has made some new friends that were in different classes last year.  She was my only non-crisis “back to school” experience.  And I truly appreciate it!!

So – maybe I should go back to school too? (nah …)

16. September 2012 by Johanna
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