September 09, 2009

for him

Let me start by saying that I thought about deleting the last two posts from this blog to save face, but decided that, no, this is my journey and you are on it with me, through thick and thin. "You" being cyberspace, I suppose, but I like to think of you as a great big, bottomless diary that speaks back.

We pulled Bright out of school. Yes, the same school that I just finished praising. And well, the school IS great, but not for Bright, not for now.

His first (and only) week went "well," so to speak. He cried in the minibus the whole 40 minute city commute, and wouldn't be coaxed into the classroom upon arrival at the school, but that wasn't too concerning to us. The red flag was his attitude and behavior once back at home with us, and the flag was growing redder and redder each day. He was not himself. Was he imitating another child at school? I don't know. The truth is, he could have just been Bright after almost 6 hours of going unchecked. I know the teachers there do all they can, considering, and I am sure they don't let the kids kick and scream and throw things, but those weren't the behaviors we were seeing in him. We were seeing cockiness, disrespect, and body language that was communicating, 'shut up, you idiots.' It was like watching the last four years come unraveled in a matter of days.

Neither Daniel nor I had a peace about it. As much as we tried to convince ourselves that we were just overprotective, over-worried parents who were over-thinking the normal kid-adjusting-to-school stuff, we knew in our hearts that Someone was speaking to us and, even though it didn't make sense, we couldn't not listen.

I tearfully sought the advice of my dear friend and mentor, Allison Hilliard, back in Arkansas, who told me it was clear that I already knew what we were supposed to do. "But I feel so foolish," I protested, and it was true. The two reasons I didn't want to pull him out were because he had more fun at school than he has at home, and because we already video taped his first day of school, bought him a new backpack and shoes, paid the (mostly refundable) tuition, and blogged about it. The reality of the situation is he does not know what is best for himself. He is four. I'm sure he would love to eat a candy bar every day for lunch, too, but I shed no tears when I serve him carrot sticks. And come on, we BLOGGED ABOUT IT???!!! Pride is such a pathetic thing to watch in action.

So I swallowed it. We put the backpack on the top of the closet for now.

Are you looking at the next homeschooling guru? I don't know. Heaven help me if you are. I have a two-year-old and an infant at home with me right now and the thought of running Rupp Academy is daunting at best. What I do know is that a teacher's job is to teach a child, not to shepherd his heart. That is our job, Daniel's and my own. For now, our little Bright needs more shepherding, and he is home now where that can take place. I will trust the One who made him to show us the rest.