I must be bipolar. It’s amazing (and scary) how you can fluctuate from such elation to such despair all in one afternoon.
But first, the elation.
My amazing daughter has gone and won herself the 5th grade spelling bee at her school!!
I know, isn’t it great?? <insert proud mother grin with tears in eyes here>
This, the child who was so nervous this morning she could not stomach a single bite of the scrumptious toaster strudel I so lovingly prepared for her. She was having some major performance anxiety. I informed her that all the same people who loved her before the spelling bee would still love her AFTER the spelling bee, even if she went out in the first round. I know she is a great speller, she knows it and she doesn’t need a spelling bee to confirm it. However, I’d like to say that it did. I was a nervous wreck…I think I stopped breathing a couple of times. She did get lucky on some words though…giggle, slippery, early, ancient and velvet. Oh, sweet velvet, the winning word. On to the district bee…more to come on that, I’m sure!
So after the excitement of the spelling bee, (which was awesome because we had to call Daddy and the grandmas, of course!) it was time to pick up Jacob from school. And here lies the despair. He had a hard day and so got into the car with his normal “my day was horrible” speech. He has even developed something called “The Horribleness Scale”…1 is unattainably perfect, 10 is worst day ever in the history of mankind. If he says he’s had a 5, that’s a great day in Jacob lingo. Today was a 7 (which is about average, I’d say) and it quickly went from bad to worse with the realization of mountains of homework and that his sister had horseback riding lessons (which he hates to go to) on top of that. Suffice it to say, the meltdown wasn’t pretty. And so it continued on a downward spiral of how much he hates himself and how stupid he is. With me trying to console my son, all the while, silently cursing the public school system for sending my son’s self-esteem into the proverbial toilet. Then it’s off to horseback riding lessons and while Emma is off riding Cody, the cute brown horsey, Jacob and I attempt to sit on the swing, watch the sheep as the sun is setting and have a calm chat…which quickly degraded into another meltdown when he heard some man in the distance yukking it up. Laughter is evil in Jacob’s eyes, er, EARS, I should say. He is even trying to stop himself from laughing now, because it is his opinion that he should not laugh if he hates it when others do it. Convoluted thinking, I know. Heartbreaking, really. So, Jacob contorts and screams all the way to the car and I collapse in tears by the side of The Edge. I collect myself. Fortunately, now it is dark and Jacob can’t see that I am upset and he’s had a moment to cool down too. Next up, study vocabulary…which he hates with a purple passion.
I’d say we’ve come full circle–from one speller to the other.
I know it’s life and nobody ever said life was fair and life has its ups and downs and every other cliche you can think of. But sometimes I just want Jacob to have a day like Emma had today, where he feels proud. Where he wins something. Where he feels smart…because he is, he just doesn’t believe it. But 8 hour school days full of frustration and 2 plus hours of homework nights doesn’t really go a long way toward getting that. It leaves no room for anything in our lives other than schoolwork. Two words: survival mode. I feel like all I do is crack that whip…we’ve got to get this done. Hurry up we’ve still got math to do. Oh, heck, let me just do that part for you.
It’s a miserable existence.
It just seems wrong. So, so wrong.
And so we are at a crossroads. An educational crossroads.
I have one child who is a round peg. A beautiful, creative, smart, wonderful, round peg. She is the child for whom public school was created. She is thriving there. I have one child, as beautiful, creative, smart and wonderful as the other one, who is a square peg and who people are constantly trying to cram into that round hole day after day after day. It gets painful after a while. He is miserable, beyond miserable. And I want to cry every day when I leave him at that school and I want to cry when I pick him up. There has to be another way–A better way, for my son. We are looking for alternatives. We are praying and we’ll see what happens.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times, “I’ll never homeschool. It’s not for me.” I’ve been thinking about it for some time now and I’m on a fact finding mission. I’ve talked with people. We are exploring possibilities. I am seriously considering it. It’s crazy, I know. I think that whoever said, if you want to make God laugh, then tell Him your plans, was on to something.
You know what else they say…
Never say never.
Cause that kind of stuff always comes back around and bites you in the butt.
Yes, yes it does. I have the bite marks to prove it.