Saturday, January 24, 2009

Too Touchy to Title

If you don't have kids, you might not get this, but read it anyway. If you do have kids, I would be thankful for your view on the matter, as I hold a rather skewed position. In fact, the whole issue just exasperates me to no end.

My 4-year olds are ready to start preschool. I have no doubt. They are excited about it, discussing backpacks, clothing options and even umbrellas amongst themselves. At enrollment time last year, I was astounded at how quickly preschool classes fill. There is no shortage of classes. I could not believe how many choices there were! There are just more children than spots available. We were searching for a half-day program (nap time is still essential and much-loved at our house), and we wanted the school to be local, with good teachers. I didn't think that was asking too much.

We were put on a waiting list for the class that we chose. It broke my heart. The twins wanted to start school so badly. Abbi was already planning her wardrobe, and Aiden was beyond backpacks and umbrellas, and onto green binoculars (oh my God... what have we done?). So since September of last year, I have called our chosen school many, many times to see if there have been any dropouts. There have been, but never two at a time, and I refuse to separate the twins.

So, I was talking to a teacher the other day who told me that the elementary school in our little town is starting a preschool! I was so extremely excited! I called the principal right away. She clarified that they needed just a couple of more children to get the class rolling. My heart soared! My babies could start school! The principal promised to mail me a packet, and indicated that the preschool would most-likely start within a couple of weeks. I was pumped! Nothing could bring me down! I was preparing to take the kids school clothes shopping, and trying to figure out where in the hell I could find a pair of green binoculars for the boy.

I fully expected to get the packet from the school in the next day's mail. It didn't come. It didn't come that weekend either. Of course I automatically began thining the school was a sham, and the entire set-up didn't even exist.

So the next tuesday I was sitting at work, and I had an amazingly smart idea. My husband could traipse down there! He could just go talk to them! I called him. He told me there would be no traipsing, but he would, indeed, drive down to the school. They had a nice packet for him. When I called him to dig up some info, he didn't have much for me. I was annoyed. Why didn't he take my list of 22 questions to ask the principal? Men!

The problem was this... It is $105 per week to send ONE child to preschool at a public school. It would literally cost $840 a month to send the twins to preschool at Elgin.

Once again, my heart is broken.

There is a specific, distinctive guilt that goes along with being a working Mother. We have to be gone most days, and if you are like me, you have to dedicate time to work from home, as well. When I see how badly my children want to go to preschool, I want to make that happen for them. When I can't, it's heartrending.

I am going to find a way to make this happen for them. I realize that for many, many people in this world, $840 is insignificant. For our family, it is an amount greater than our house payment.

As I've mentioned in previous entries, I believe in seeing the fun and good in every day. I've seen it in this day, as I will see it tomorrow. Where there is a will, there IS a way... and I will find the way for my children.

Off my soapbox... more to come...

Kelly :)

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