It’s been almost a month and a half since uprooting my life and moving two hours away from our home. I pulled my seven year old out of school, quit a stable job running the shipping and receiving department at a print shop, left a great (aside from a few noise issues) apartment complex, in a beautiful city on Lake Michigan that felt like home. We now live in a college town in the middle of the state, two hours away from support and friends. The city is filled with terrible drivers blasting loud music, random strange noises at two in the morning, and all the places I remember from living here during my undergrad are either closed or no longer a place one takes a child. Some days are tough; after I walk my son to school, I can’t seem to make it off the couch again, and I sleep until I have to get my son from school.
Despite this, Smalls has never been happier. He is excelling at this school, getting all his work done despite constantly being held in last year due to incomplete work. His new 2nd grade teacher has told me he isn’t having any real issues! She has communicated that occasionally he may be the last to finish something, but that his answers are correct. And every morning and afternoon, there’s this program where they get some of the antsy kids out into the hallway to do work. Smalls loves it! See, after last year, this is the craziest, most awesome thing to be told ever! He is reading chapter books, is constantly exclaiming how he LOVES his math workbook, and has begun to make friends inside the classroom and out.
Last year was the opposite. He was kept in from recess more than he wasn’t. He achieved excellent marks on his report card, yet his teacher made it sound as if he was disruptive and not getting anything when she filled out the form a psychologist sent with me, as it was recommended by multiple people within the school he be tested for ADHD and anxiety or depression. Every morning Smalls awoke with a stomach ache, every day he told me nothing about school. One day he told me there was a student who was allowed to leave the classroom to deliver something, and that student got to pick another student to go with them. Smalls told me he was never picked, and when it was his turn he was going to choose anyone to go with him because no one chose him. That kind of thing isn’t healthy, and it broke my heart. It was difficult for me not being able to help him more, not know how to help him.
I did not get a job upon moving here, but am living on my savings for the moment. I won’t be able to continue this for much longer, but it’s going to be a tough thing to give up, this stay at home mom time. Though it’s lonely and I’ve been struggling with depression and self worth, when I walk the couple of blocks to pick up my kiddo and he’s all smiles, it’s so worth it. Every day, he says, “Hey Mom, guess what?” about twenty times on the six minute walk home. It makes every day so much better! We have time to go to the orchard and pick out pumpkins, to play games every day, to cook dinner together and walk to school. Today, there was a two hour fog delay, so we were able to play a Dr. Seuss memory game and Joyride Kinect together.
It is so easy for some of us to get lost in those in between times, so hard to see the end when it feels so far away. Grad school really is just around the corner, and I need to try my best to not let my brain derail this opportunity to be the mom I’ve never been able to be due to single parenthood full time job status. Shut up brain! Get planning the future, not dwelling on the imperfect areas of life!
So, here we are. At the beginning of this amazing new chapter, in this insane, unpredictable life! How can I not love it?