Sunday, May 11, 2014

Hopefulness and A Little Rest

Wild flowers in Hickory, North Carolina, last spring.

Today is Mother's Day, and my goal is to just enjoy the time with my kids.  Ice cream at Zem's (the local hangout of choice, our favorite treat) is a distinct possibility.  Gardening may happen (but I'm NOT going to clean house today!).  I am so grateful for my kids, and love them more than I could ever have imagined before they were born.  I hope we have a good day together.  My husband and the kids took me out for lunch yesterday, and the kids gave me their gifts Friday night, because they couldn't wait:  lovely gold cross earrings, my favorite bi-colored mini carnations, and a Wonder Woman card.

It's been an eventful week since my last post.  The house went on the market, and we've had 5 showings already (plus a walk-through just for realtors).  We looked at another rental yesterday, and took it on the spot.  I've been home schooling Safety Guy, whose anxiety has been really bothering him (panic attacks several times a day).  The house has been cleaned within an inch of its (and my) life, and I'm still finding small things to clean.  (Shhh, don't look in my linen closet - I haven't gotten to it yet.)  I'm emotionally tired but physically okay, aside from the "I'm not 30 any more" aches and pains from intense cleaning and yard work.  I'm trying to stay positive, and I'm continuing to apply for jobs as I go.

We're excited and relieved to finally have a rental to move to in a few weeks - and we are so blessed that not only is it in the school district we wanted, but we can also keep BOTH cats and the guinea pigs there.  It even has a basement, so Safety Guy can have part of it for his Man Cave, and a garage.  The location is in a nice neighborhood with lots of families, blocks of streets for walking and biking, and a couple parks, and it's close to the city for my job-hunting efforts.  It's also not far from where their dad works, which is good for all of us.  The property manager says I can even do some gardening there.  After drawing a blank for so long in finding a good rental (and seeing the Rodent Palace last week - a massive reality check for the kids), securing this one yesterday is a HUGE relief for all of us.  It's a duplex, and the neighbors seem really nice and even have a daughter close to the Princess' age.  If this turns out to be a good situation, we may stay for several years.

So, over the next few weeks we'll be doing more packing and sorting.  We'll be looking for a climate-controlled storage unit, since one of the things I don't want in the new rental is my mother's 60 year old Hammond C3 organ.  I don't play it, and it takes up a LOT of floor space, but I don't want it damaged in a regular storage unit.  Someday I'll want it back in a house, since I haven't been able to bring myself to sell it, but this rental just isn't big enough for all of our furniture.  There are other things that can be safely stored while we're renting - like the big fish tank, and miscellaneous keepsake boxed items (like the few boxes of the kids' baby/toddler toys for my hypothetical future grandchildren).  We'll have some storage in the duplex, since it has a basement, but I'd rather maximize the living space.  The bedrooms are very small, so the kids will have to prioritize their stuff too.

On the education front, Safety Guy's IEP meeting is tomorrow.  I just want to make sure it has what he needs to go to the new district.  I don't want to fight out the events of the past month/several years there it's the wrong time/place, and I'll be meeting with the IEP team in his new school over the summer anyhow.  I just want some closure.  I'm going to look into transferring our son to the new district early (i.e. the first week of June as a home schooler), and I'll be talking with them about how to make his transition go as smoothly as possible in the fall.

So, rest is a relative term.  But I'm still hopeful that things are starting to turn around and come together, and that by the end of the summer we'll have many things settled that are currently up in the air.  I pray for peace and wisdom as we continue to walk along this path. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Picking Up The Pieces

This week it seems like everything fell apart - at least for a couple days.  The short(ish) version is: 

I've busted my behind all week (and actually for several weeks of projects and packing) getting the house ready for the realtor to take another look at yesterday, and when he visited he had more suggestions for us to do this week.  We were clearly not ready in all the fine details, and I could have cried.  

The school has refused to provide homebound ed services for our son, ignoring letters from his pediatrician and his therapist recommending that he be taught at home or tutored off the school campus for the remainder of the school year.  Adding insult to injury, their letter referred to the "alleged incidents of bullying."  Obviously someone has been talking to a lawyer. . . .

Because of the school's refusal, my husband and I have decided that I will home school our son for the rest of this school year.  I sent the official letter of intent yesterday, and they'll have it today (certified mail).  I was afraid they'd call our son truant if I didn't get the letter in as soon as possible, since today would be the tenth class day out of school for him without an "acceptable" reason.

I'm having no success at all finding a place to rent in the school district that we want, that is both big enough and will allow pets.  I am extremely discouraged by the prospect of having to take a place that's too small just to get into the district, and possibly a place where we couldn't keep our pets.  

Safety Guy is very anxious, and having stomach upset and other physical anxiety symptoms as he deals with the aftermath of being pulled from school, and contemplating a move.  

We have to decide what to do about the school's refusal to provide homebound ed - legal recourse is possible, but I'm not sure what purpose it would serve other than revenge, since by the time we tried to force the school to do the right thing, we will have moved out of the district.  Frankly, we don't have the money for a legal battle.  The school is probably counting on us home schooling and sparing them the expense, and having to admit they've failed our son. 

It has occurred to me that this situation with the school could affect my future employment if someone at the school were to be vindictive (both my employment as a sub, which is short-term, or my employment elsewhere, which is another thing entirely).  District administrators talk, and I have no illusions left about the lengths bureaucrats will go to in order to CYA. . . .

I crashed this morning - I was just frustrated, upset, sad, angry, afraid, all the possible emotions around such a bunch of circumstances.  I had to just cry out to the Lord, and lay all of this in His hands.  I can't control the future, and I can barely control the parts of the present I'm supposed to be handling.  But life isn't hopeless, and I don't want to fall into despair.  The future is still there, and if I have to reinvent myself professionally, however that may be, I'll do it.  I'll get through the end of this school year, and we will move.  Our kids will be in a different school in the fall, we'll have a different place to live, and life will go on.  But, oh Lord, I'm struggling in the present and can't even predict the next few months (or even weeks or days) - give us wisdom and peace, and provide for our needs. . . .