Last year, I wrote a post titled “Off to School”. The post was about our oldest son starting Kindergarten and our decision to enroll him in a Montessori school. I wrote the post early in my blogging career, back when I had all of two readers: a sister and a friend.
This post is about school, too. Actually, this post is about one school. My son’s school. The school my youngest was going to enter in August. The school we hoped to stick with through elementary school. Funny how things change. Not funny really. Sad. Quite sad.
I have a list of books recommended by my readers. As a result, I am reading more and more. I am exposing myself to many different authors. I am learning that many authors write incomplete sentences. For impact? Maybe? Regardless, based on the books I am reading, there is nothing wrong with the short non-sentences in the second paragraph. Moreover, the fact that this has nothing to do with the bulk of the post is acceptable, too.
So, I picked up my son from camp on Friday. He was so excited to tell me about the animal of the day. The animal of the day was a giraffe, but that is not important right now.
Before Joe and I walked out of the school, the Director said she wanted to talk to me. She and I walked out to the school’s family room, leaving the other kids with an assistant. The Director handed me an envelope, explaining many of the parents were receiving the news in the mail.
The news? Foreclosure. The school was foreclosed. One more time for effect – the school was foreclosed.
Please know, I have absolutely nothing negative to say about the Director. The school was her baby. She and her husband put everything into this school. I commend her. Truly. And my son? Clueless. The week at camp was wonderful. He had a blast learning and playing. She was there – with the kids – every day. Her world was crumbling around her, yet she managed to educate, inspire and entertain kids throughout all of it.
After the tears, and there were many tears shed, came the realization that we needed to find a new school. In fact, we needed to find a new summer camp. Actually, we just received the news days ago; we still need to find a new school and a new summer camp.
Commence the freak-out. ACK! Oh my gosh!! What are we going to do?! I do NOT want to put the boys in public school. Where are other Montessori schools? How am I going to research schools, hold down two jobs and watch Joe?
“Rob… would you please stop and get some ice cream on your way home from work?”
“Seriously? I just bought you two pints the other day.”
“Yes, seriously. That was two days ago – they are gone.”
We spent Friday night, Saturday and Sunday in shock. Thankfully, Saturday was also spent with family, which offered a nice distraction from the shock. Monday was spent online and on the phone, trying to get appointments to visit schools. Tuesday was spent juggling kids and touring the first school. Wednesday, we’ll tour two more schools. Thursday, we’ll tour a fourth school. Friday, we have an appointment to tour a fifth school. However, the fifth school’s tuition for one child is just over $15,000 a year. I am working a 2nd job to help pay for the boys’ private school; I have no intention of working a 3rd and 4th job to cover two kids at $15K each. I need to cancel Friday’s appointment.
Monday night, as Rob and I sat down to discuss the schools I found to visit, we had a blow out. For me, the blow out consisted of my sadness for the school closing, the pressure to find a new one and the feeling of being overwhelmed. For Rob, the blow out consisted of me yelling. Though let’s be honest here, Rob reviewed the list Sunday night by my side. He did not utter a word. However, Monday night, after appointments were made, Rob’s response was, “First, I don’t approve of all the schools. I think some are too far away.”
“What?! Why didn’t you tell me this last night – before I made the appointments? How many schools have your approval?”
[We are experiencing technical difficulties in the form of expletives and hand gestures. Please duck, cover and be patient. We’ll resume shortly.]
Happily, Rob saw the light. Once again, his wife was correct with everything she thought, said, and did; he loved her, and their life was filled with unicorns and rainbows. Well, the love part is accurate.
The public school near our house is 2 1/2 miles away, with the first mile consisting of getting out of our subdivision. The school is convenient both in location and price (ahem, free). But, my personal choice, and the personal choice of my husband, is that we want our kids to attend a private school – Montessori preferred. That said, we do not have many options within a 10 mile radius, so the options are not few, per se, just far between. (Well, we do have that one – the sole recipient of Rob’s approval.)
When I started this post in my head Friday night, I was consumed with sadness and shock, and I was frazzled with the abrupt and sudden change. With each passing day, nonstop emails between the families from the (now) closed school and the realization that options surround us, I am feeling more at ease with this bump in life. I am still sad for the Director and her family, as well as the newly unemployed teachers and staff, but I am thankful for the family of friends we made during our seemingly short time at Woodstock International School. Memories were made, and even the worst of economies and countless foreclosures can’t take those memories away from us. Thank you, Jory Family.