At the end of June, I wrote about how disappointed I was with Malia's Kindergarten placement for fall. For those of you who don't feel like going back to re-read that post, here's the gist of it: Malia didn't get the teacher I wanted, the days of the week I wanted, nor some of the classmates that I wanted. And the only way that I was told that would change would be if they had a new child register by June 30th.
That didn't happen.
But a lot of other things have happened since then. Malia met her assigned Kindergarten teacher -- Mrs. R -- when we went to pick up Joelle's report card on June 30th. Mrs. R apparantly made a very good first impression on the little miss, since Malia gave her a huge hug before we left the school grounds. Check one item off of my Things to Worry About list.
I also re-thought my whole preference of working days. Sure, at first I dreaded the thought of having to work Mondays & Wednesdays (esp. Mondays) instead of Tuesdays & Fridays. But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed to work out in my favour. First of all, my plan is to only leave for work at 8:30am as the kids are walking out the door to meet the school bus -- so that's a lot better than my current shift of having to leave the house at 7:30am. Looking at that hour difference doesn't seem to make it matter as much that I have to go to work on a Monday. Secondly, now I'll be done my work shifts for the week by Wednesday, rather than having to end off the week with a work day (although I always have enjoyed working Fridays, to be honest -- the atmosphere is better and it just seems like an all-around better day). But I was starting to get used to the Mon/Wed idea.
The only thing that I still wasn't 100% sold on was the issue of her classmates. The majority of her friends (and her cousin, who moved to our little town just a couple of weeks ago) will be going to school on completely opposite days as her -- so not only will she not attend school with them, but she also won't be able to have playdates with them on her days off. But even that I have learned to come to grips with. There are 2 girls right on our street that will be in her class -- one of them she went to pre-school with already (although they never seemed to connect), and the other one is the daughter of a good friend of mine who we have gotten together with several times since spring especially. So even though those friendships may need a bit of nurturing, it will be neat to have playmates for her right on the street.
That all being said, I had come to complete peace about Malia's schooling situation and was proud of myself for my attitude change.
And then my cell phone rings on Wednesday morning while at a friend's house (coincidentally, the friend I just mentioned). It's the school principal calling to tell me that they had a few new registrations over the summer, so if I still wanted to move Malia to Tues/Fri with Mrs. D -- I could do it.
Huh. Whaddya know? Now what?!
Well, actually, I had considered this scenario long ahead of time. In fact, when we picked up Joelle's report card, Mrs. D herself said that things could change by the end of August (instead of just the end of June like the school principal had originally told me). I had decided though that if I did get a phone call at the end of summer, I would say no. By that time, my work schedule would be in place and I will have spent all summer getting Malia psyched up for things as they were.
But would I actually stick to that decision now that the opportunity was staring me right in the face? When the exact thing that I tried to fight so hard for in June was now up for grabs?
I'm happy to say that yes -- I did stick to my original decision. With one or two "Ummm's"and only a brief one-second pause, I thanked the principal very much for calling me to give me the opportunity, but that all things considered, we were going to leave things as they were. She understood completely -- and sounded very happy about the fact that I wasn't as upset about the situation as I was in June -- and as I hung up, I was left wondering if I had just made a decision that I was going to regret.
So...I quickly phoned her back and changed my answer!
No -- I'm kidding. Of course I considered it for the remainder of the morning, but when push came to shove, I realized that I really was content with the lot I was originally given.
One of the biggest things I realized over the summer was that sometimes the things we think are best for us aren't really what God knows is best for us. In fact, that was the biggest reason why I didn't submit any specific requests early in spring about teachers, days of the week and classmates, to begin with. Part of it was because I had no legitimate reason -- it was all just personal preferences, and I didn't know at the time that they actually took such requests so seriously (apparantly they do!).
But another part was that I didn't want to be the one to orchestrate how Malia's school year would play out. Who am I to say that I want her to have a certain teacher? What if I had requested Mrs. D only to later on realize that my decision to do so caused her to be in a classroom without ANY of her friends? Or if I had requested her to be in so-and-so's class but that prevented her from meeting her life-long friend in the other class? I realized that I don't want that kind of pressure. I've always let the cards fall where they may for Joelle -- so why would I start to change that now?
Besides, how can I teach my kids that they need to 'roll with the punches' when I don't do the same thing myself? I think it's a far better example for them to see that even when things don't go exactly the way we had planned or hoped, we still need to make the best of the situation. And trust that God knows what He's doing much better than we do.