Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Time to breathe

Having the kids out every morning this week and next week is like getting a preview of what the fall will be like, when they're back at school. This new freedom is really foreign to me, since I've home schooled both kids for the past six years. I almost hate to use the word "freedom," since home schooling is in no way bondage. But, that's how I feel - FREE. It's not like I don't love my kids and want to spend time with them, or that I regret the use of all the time I did spend teaching them for those years. Yet, by the end of 2009, I knew that I was done teaching my children. Used up, wrung out, dry as dust under a church pew, FINISHED. It was so hard to finish the school year out, and I know I could have done much better (as a Mom you know you ALWAYS could have done better), but somehow just finishing was itself a victory. DONE. No longer on my mind or my shoulders. Ready for a new beginning.

So, let the adventure begin again - the kids will be in public school soon, and I am trying to make sense of my art, my life, my family, and what my "career" will look like over the next 10 years or so. It's actually quite exciting, and I find myself slowly gaining energy and ambition as the time grows closer to the beginning of the new school year. I have a handful of things I need to do, or would like to pursue:

- apply to be a substitute teacher in the public school (just 2-3 days/week would be perfect)
- find a local ceramic shop I can work with
- create a professional portfolio of my art work
- visit and get to know people at art galleries in Syracuse and Rome/Utica, to see if I can eventually sell my work through that kind of venue

But before then, and taking priority over all of that, I have to stay on top of the kids' education and their well-being, and love and support my husband as he goes back to graduate school in September as well. I think the terms "priorities" and "boundaries" will take on significant meaning to me this fall.

Our son's Committee on Special Education (CSE) meeting is next week, where we'll hash out how his academic and social needs will be addressed by the school, and that will be included in his Individualized Education Plan (IEP). I've been on the teacher's side of the table before, but not the parents' side, so this will be interesting. I need to write down a list of questions to ask before we go. I so very much hope and pray that the transition goes well for him, and for his sister into her new school. There will be rough spots and issues for both of them, but life IS dealing with issues and rough spots - I just hope that overall this is the best thing for them at this time.