I cannot believe that it is August, and only halfway through we are starting school. It just doesn’t seem like it is time yet. I am craving a routine and my children could benefit from that too, but it still feels like summer. Maybe I feel so relaxed because we aren’t really going back. At least not full-time anyway. We are jumping into the homeschool way of life, with the public school as our life jacket. It sounds strange, I know, but I think it just might work.
When we started talking to Wolfie about homeschooling, he was excited. After a while, he started asking questions like, “will I get to see my teachers?’ and “I’ll still get to visit, won’t I?” I took this as a sign that we needed to figure something out that got him through the doors of school regularly, but in a way that would be more successful for him. I, for one, am tired of him coming out of school angry, vowing never to go back. That is a terrible way to start an evening and no child should feel that out of sorts at the end of a school day. These kind of explosive rants are what I was met with more than enough times last year to signal that something needed to change, like, in a big way.
I am hopeful that our new schedule will be just what is needed in order to strike a balance between the ease he feels with adults and the anxiety he feels in social situations with his peers. Right now, he is attending school in the mornings and I pick him up before lunch. Today it went well, although not without some minor bumps.
One of the hardest things about parenting is knowing what each child needs and not confusing one’s needs with the others. I want so badly to make things even between my boys and I am realizing that try as I might, it just isn’t possible and it also isn’t necessary. I find myself saying a lot lately that life isn’t fair. Not in a complaining kind of way, but in a matter of fact, them’s the brakes kind of way. Not everything has to appear fair and it all evens out, in the end, is what I keep telling myself. My obsession with this fairness has come from the decision, not to homeschool Hammy. As much as it pains me to admit, homeschooling is not what he needs. Not right now anyway. He is angry about having a brother with Asperger’s because in many ways it means he doesn’t get as much attention and we expect things of him that his brother isn’t always capable of doing. To a 6-year-old that seems unbelievably unfair. I know that one day Wolfie and Hammy will enjoy a good relationship and if I play my cards right that day may be sooner rather than later.
My hope is that by giving each of them space and time and honoring their individual needs, we might have more peace in our house. This year after I dropped each of them off in their classrooms I walked down to the parent coffee in the gym without the lump in my through or the ache in my belly. The anxiety that I normally feel after dropping Wolfie off anywhere was gone because I know he can hold it together in school for three hours. Seven is another story, but three, he can do. Also, Hammy was very content to walk into his classroom with his Mystery Machine lunchbox, find his seat, and begin coloring like he does this every day. He gave me this “No big deal, Mom” sort of look and a quick kiss and that was it.
I am not so delusional that I believe that it will be this blissful every day, but I’ll take it whenever I can get it!