The car keys jingle, the backpack zips, a cereal bar is grabbed for the road…
My son has a new beginning today.
Last spring, it became abundantly obvious that Thing One was not thriving educationally, was sinking deeper and deeper into depression and anxiety, was feeling marginalized and alienated in his current school situation.
It’s not a bad school. In fact, Thing Two will probably thrive there.
But it just wasn’t a good fit for Thing One.
I had known it for a year or more but had felt like my hands were tied. I was a single parent. He had no driver’s license. Homeschooling didn’t seem to be the answer either — he’s a social kid — and even though good homeschooling incorporates social interaction into the day, those opportunities typically happen when I’m at work dragging in the only paycheck that keeps a roof over our heads.
I felt hopeless.
And we both felt resigned to the idea of just trudging on to get to graduation.
What a horrendous feeling to look at your incredibly bright, incredibly creative child, and know that his only thought related to school was: How much longer do I have to be here?
And one educator, who cares deeply about the best interests of each child, said to us, “We like Thing One. He doesn’t get into trouble, has decent grades, but have you considered that there might be an alternative option for him?”
That conversation was the catalyst that may have changed the course of his life.
We had considered options the summer before, including the very same private school mentioned by that concerned educator. But the obstacles of single parenthood, lack of driver’s license, and lack of funding seemed to eliminate any possibility other than traditional public school education from our list of options.
This spring, the most difficult of the obstacles to overcome (lack of driver’s license) would be solved within weeks.
The wheels of my mind began to turn.
If Thing One passed his driver’s test…
If we managed to find him a car…
If he was accepted…
If we were blessed with some financial aid…
If we slashed our budget…
If we took a giant leap of faith…
His life could be altogether different.
Instead of being a kid who is counting the days to graduation, he might just be a kid who looks forward to school.
Instead of being a kid who feels marginalized and alienated, he might just be a kid who connects with others like him.
Instead of being depressed, anxious and angry, he might just be a kid who opens up, smiles and makes a difference in the world.
And so, when I wrote this post: Just Be Enough: Faith, I had no idea how it would all come together.
But since April:
- Thing One passed his driver’s test
- We found him a reliable and affordable car
- He was accepted to that wonderful private school
- We received some financial aid
- We slashed our budget in dozens of ways…
And we took that leap of faith.
Today, he will drive to that school.
Today, he looks forward to learning something this day, not just graduation two years from now.
His life trajectory changes.
And we’re full of hope.