Thursday, March 24, 2011

Trying Not to See This as a Parental Fail of Epic Proportions

Just before I went to bed last night I checked to see if the magnet results had been posted. It was after midnight of the well publicized 3/24 reveal.

I knew getting in to the one and only school was going to be a long shot. As I detailed back in February that after a month of school visits that we would take our 10% chance and likely know that we are going to be at the base school this fall.

Still though, hearing that we had made the lottery would have been nice. It would have bought us some options we wanted for next year. I feel the need to get out of this house even more and what has really not gotten much attention this month is getting moved up somehow on the priority list.

Our next door neighbors put their house on the market over the weekend and nosy me was curious enough to check out the specs. Similar house plus some upgrades we don't have so I'll be curious to see what/how long it takes to sell.

We are still on the plan to get it market ready by early next year but I also want to step up starting to look, now with the need for a solid base school being the top of the list more so that Bill's desire for a theater room. Part of me says don't rush just to try to be somewhere by fall, but then given I put 100 miles on my car in one day just being back and forth to civilization, it's time. It doesn't hurt to just get stuff rolling in whatever time I can find to start this project.

Not once had we mentioned anytihng about the chance for different schools to Ben, it just seemed confusing. I know in my heart he is going to do fine wherever he his and in the end that is the most important thing. I just feel like for the past 3 years I have spent an enormous amount of time and energy on school visits, sitting through presentations in little chairs and frankly somehow hearing an acceptance would be validation of time well spent.

Since the start of the year, Bill and I have privately said that moving him this year has been a mistake. Not with only 2 months to go in the year would we consider a move, but for the ease of having him closer we traded what I think was an important pre-K year. It's been a gradual realization of how things run at this current school and the level of simple disinterest. I won't elaborate in this public space but I'll be glad when May 31st gets here and we are moving into summer camp. Ask me how much it kills me when Ben continues to tell me how much he misses teachers, friends, things he specifically did from last year.

I put on my happy face and ask him about all the good things he is doing and usually that sidetracks him, but all the while I'm seeing it as a epic parentental failure for not being able to give him a better opportunity for success. Ben for the most part is not excited to be at school. Frankly he never has been regardless of where he was and that too feels like a parental failure for not encouraging him enough, working with him enough, just something doesn't feel like I've done enough or he would want to be there more. I'm trying really hard not to feel this way but on some level it's nagging me.

Whether getting in was for his best interest, my own ego, some type of bizarre thank you for working in this school system I am disappointed. Disappointed that now I feel a bit of failure for not being able to ameliorate the last 3 years with what felt like a sure-fire win.


Beth said...

I wish I could just tell you that it's not a parental fail by any stretch of the imagination and that you would be believe me. But I know you won't. I think Seth is going to be my child who doesn't care much for the structure of school. I don't know what the formula is for nature versus nurture, but I'm pretty convinced that nature often wins. Don't beat yourself up. You are doing the best you can and your best is MORE than enough. Hugs!

LauraC said...

Well Heather, hindsight is always 20/20 with these things. If you had kept Ben at Heartwood, you would have spent an additional TWO HOURS every day in the car. Think of all that you've been able to do with those two hours every day to add so much to the rest of your life.

I think you will be happier if you move into a neighborhood closer to where you spend your time. And I do also think that who knows if you could have sold your house in the last 3 years and still gotten everything else accomplished - Bill's surgery, IAN, etc.

I'm sorry to hear you didn't get in either. Sucks.

And hey, there are some houses in our neighborhood that we thought would sell long before ours but it all came down to price. Once we went below $250K, it sold in a day.

Katrina said...

Heather - I feel totally for you. I may not own my house (we rent, thank God - in this area (MD)) and I sure know what it's like to suffer through a move (military wife life and all) - I do know the trials my oldest sister has had to go through with her 3 kids and moving - she's a military wife, too - and especially her oldest daughter - pulling her out of schools everywhere they go (and with the military, you don't decide when, you just go). I feel for you. However, chin up lady - and don't beat yourself up too hard. You're giving it your all - and you can't expect any less! As for your kiddo not enjoying school - I think that's partly a character/behavioral thing they go through - and moving sucks. Even though I don't have kids - I've thought about what I will do (and have heard the horror stories from my sisters kids) and honestly think I will probably do private school - I don't care how much it costs. If not that - I'll homeschool. Depends where we'll end up. I just don't have a very open mind when it comes to kids' education these days. Most older teachers are being replaced with people my age - (or younger!) and when I see some of them - it's pretty bad when I have to hold myself back from slapping them upside the head! I don't even want to know what they are teaching - so - your struggles are shared with many. But, don't be too hard on yourself!!! Your kid will turn out great because you CARE and are concerned. You can't blame yourself any less for that!

Take care!


Gillian said...

Oh, I am sad we won't see you at school next year! Disappointing! I think Laura has good advice (as usual) especially when you consider the big picture of what a smaller commute to school has meant for your family. (BTW thought I would mention that there is an appeal process with the magnets but you might have to seek it out. I know 2 people who were admitted in late summer due to declines... it does happen.)