A portrait of my daughters every week in 2017
This week was a week of firsts for us.
We sent our big kid off to public school this week, a change I was not excited for. I so dearly love our little Waldorf school, with it’s safe, comforting staff, it’s warm, welcoming smells and those lovely pots of soup for lunch. The gentle, child led days have my heart. The change to public school, to loud colors everywhere, to rules and “centers” was jarring. It’s a vast difference from the rhythms based in nature, the extended hours outdoors, and the freedom given to learn and explore without direction.
There is so much chaos in our world, so much in our daily lives, and unfortunately, so much in our home day to day. Our Waldorf school felt like a break. Like a little sanctuary. It was a place where she grew into the independent little lady that she is, and I desperately wish we could keep her there. But alas, the price tag of private school just isn’t in our long term budget. It’s something that leaves me with a lot of guilt. Should I be going back to work full time? Should I be sacrificing more so she can stay there? But then if I worked full time, am I depriving her sister of the same slower childhood that working part time allows?
My biggest child, her life, it’s going to be different than other kids. So very different. There are so many things that make her different. Her heart. Other health issues. Things that eventually will make life more challenging for her. Things that some asshole kid is going to make fun of her for some day. But the environment cultivated at Waldorf, is so very different. It would allow her differences, to be celebrated, to be protected. It feels like the safe space that she deserves and I feel so angry with myself for not providing that for her. I feel angry at a world where that kind of educational experience isn’t widely available.
I went through the school calendar tonight putting all of the dates into my phone. As I typed, the phone tried to be smarter than me, predicting what I was going to enter. Only it started entering the events from last year, events from Waldorf, like the Halloween Walk or the Winter Spiral. Events filled with magic and wonder that will no longer be part of her school experience. I entered those dates and I felt a huge loss of the ideal experience That I can’t provide for my child.
She’s adjusting well. Tonight she drew pictures for me of all of the things she did at school today.
The baby didn’t have as much excitement this past week. She got to try her first French fry (loved it) and she caught the worst cold she’s had to date. She also figured out how to hurl herself head first over the side of the bathtub. She may be small but she’s certainly a very resilient little baby.
This weeks photos, a tryptch of sorts. The baby loving the screen door, and her sister imitating.