Tuesday, August 27, 2013

RAS-springa: Into the world...

Last week was ......

Heart pounding
Eye opening

We did something that I had always expected to happen ...at some point.
Zeek decided that after 7 years of home school...he wanted to try a small charter school in town.
He is almost 13 years old and we decided after checking out the school ...that we would honor his request.
You see...I always figured that one day....they might want to venture out and go to public school.
I never ever ever want to deny them of something that may be a learning experience for them.
So when he said that he wanted to try the middle school...I was shocked.
I never thought it would be Zeek.  
I know him. 
I have been his teacher for 7 years....I know how he learns.
I know his sweet soul, and heart.  I know what he struggles with and what he excels in.
I know that he has a hard time concentrating.
I know that he spends more time reading that he has to on math.
I know when he needs a break and when we need to push on.
I know.
But..to no avail...when he said he wanted to try...we let him.
We called all the family and told them that Zeek was going on this new adventure.  
Everyone was very excited and happy for him.
I was excited and proud that he wanted to TRY something new.
It struck me how brave he was....
Taking a "RAS -springa" if you will.
(Like when the Amish take a RUMSPRINGA )
So we prepared him and sent him on his way in his rosé colored glasses.
I picked him up on Thursday afternoon and he was almost unrecognizable.
He was sad and downtrodden.
Ummm.....not. Part. Of. The. Deal.
That is not Zeek.
He usually SHINES.  
With me: 
He thrives in school. He smiles. He laughs. He concentrates. He studies.
But this was a zombies out 13 year old who had just spent 6 hours in school...only to come home and do 3-4 hours of homework.
And this was day 2!
I saw it coming.
When you have a child....if you pay attention. 
You. Know. Them.
You know when something isn't right. 
Something was wrong.
He was not happy.
He was not smiling.
He was not shining.
He was not my Zeek.
He got in the car and set his backpack on the floor like it had the weight of the world in it.
"How was your day babe?"
"Eh." he said with a heaviness in his voice.
"What do you mean. "Eh?" I said.
He just sat there and stared at the rain that was so fittingly pouring on the windshield.
"I don't know Mom.  I don't know."
I pryed and pryed.
I asked and begged...
He wasn't talking.
We drove all the way home with me asking and him shutting me down.
When we pulled in the driveway he got out and walked right past his Dad.
Jay looked at me with a puzzled look....
"Whats wrong with HIM? Bad day?"
I just shrugged and followed him inside.
He sat and stared at his TV for the next hour while I wondered what happened?
A while later I left to take the girls to dance...giving him instructions to start on his 3 hours of homework(WTF???) after I left.
He nodded and said nothing.
By the time I came back an hour and a half later he was in the schoolroom with Jay CRYING.
He was asking to come back home.
In the end ......
after hours of talking and discussing..
We decided that this was not the best option for us.
We decided that if we honored him when he wanted to GO...we needed to honor him when he decided to come home.
In the end...
It feels right to have him HERE.
It feels good to know that he went out there....
and CHOSE to come back.
Never mind the chaotic classrooms...
Never mind the 3 hours of homework...
Never mind the "problem" kids...
Never mind the wrench it threw in the schedule...
NONE of that was the CORE of the issue....
The CORE of the issue for me was this....

I want them to be prepared for the world, but I don't want them to be "of this world".
I want them to be comfortable with themselves.
Comfortable enough to come to us and say, "This is not right for me."
I want them to know that we listen, we hear, we trust them.
Enough to HEAR them when they speak....no matter if they are 3, 13, or 33.
We will listen.
 We will HEAR.

1 comment:

Angi Aughe said...

It's wonderful that he made the choice to try school outside the home. It gave him a taste of something different. You and Jay are such strong parents that you allowed him the opportunity to make the choice to try it and the choice to come back on his own. Time and time again you show just how wonderful you two really are.