Friday, August 5, 2011

Public, Private, Home, or Juvie!

Our kid, who got a hold of our camera in secret.... I found them and laughed. Hard. I asked her permission to put these on here.

Am I settled on my blog post about schooling decisions title choice? No. But I need to move on. I guess you could say I was "pun"successful of reaching my pun-every-title-post challenge.

Also unsuccessful at the weekly reading challenge. There! Happy!!? Gloat all you want! I got 3 books in 3 weeks, hey I'm not an editor! But then I slacked with this one: Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel. NOT because it's not fantastic, because it most certainly is. But because it's been kind of nutrageous around here with all the errands and randomness: selling gold, returning recalled turkey, and well, the usual eating cheese.

And before I move on to my blurb about schooling and what I feel God has unveiled and unleashed in my heart, I have to say that having mad, crazy hot flashes when you're 30 in Texas heat is not fun. Let's just say I have had to up the dosage a bit on some hormone levels because I have grown weary of spontaneous combustion. It's a good way to stain your CR-V interior, you know with human carnage, ash, and such.

We are sending our one and only (but are praying about adoption if God should lead us down that path- shhh that's a secret!) Leelah-bug to Kindygarten. This send-off is a big step for us, or just me really. She is going to public school. At the beginning of this year during one of my group therapy sesshes (you know I go there and you know you're jealous!) stuff came out about how I had a rather unpleasant first day experience. I didn't know that was what was producing so much fear in my heart for my sending off my daughter. The whole "DON'T TAKE HER INNOCENCE!!" mindset was a heavy burden to bear. I entertained ideas of maybe private school? To which John declined and I obliged respecting his decision. Well, what about homeschool? A great option, but not the best for my only child who was made to be a ham. Plus, she really needs to learn by being around others to lay off the boss-sauce!

Up until a month ago I felt as if there was a countdown to the apocalypse. Not necessarily the public school thing just the whole idea of releasing her into the wild- public, private, or juvinile detention! And I'm not judging where anyone sends there kid!
My thoughts were all-centered on AUGUST 22ND- JUDGEMENT DAY. And I prayed, prayed, cried, didn't pray, was bitter, prayed, and then finally God spoke to me about His plans for His child:
"Leave her in (public school). I need her there." Whoa.
And instantly, the fear, the sadness was gone.

And then I got convicted in a gentle way of course, but for serious. How dare I assume what happened to me would happen to her? Why am I presumptuously grieving a precious moment - her embarking on an adventure she was born to take?
And that's when the joy started to take over.

Thank you Lord. For filling my heart with joy and excitement. Now, I made sure back when I was in Gloomsville, U.S.A. not to let her know my true heart. I was always thumbs-upping it in front of her and then I'd turn around secretly and make the puke-inducing face to friends. But now I can honestly say that "my face is no longer downcast." - From 1 Samuel 1- great story about waiting and hard times Thank you Gari Meacham, gifted author, teacher and friend, for shedding light and showing the relevance of this hopeful piece of scripture.
So as I was reading Grace Based Parenting, I came across this wonderful paragraph on page 22:
Speaking of fears, if your child attends the public school system, a grace-based family makes it easier for him or her to succeed because you aren't intimidated by the inherent shortcomings inside the public school system. And if you aren't afraid of what's out there, it's a lot easier for your children to thrive apiritually inside the antagonistic environment they might encounter at school.

My whole thought now is this (and John had it first because he's cool like that), she is going to be out in the real world eventually. Why not do her a service and begin it now? It might not be that clear for you. It might be clear your kid should wait to start school, go to a charter school, do unschooling, whatever will set your child(ren) up for success in their adulthood based on how they are made. And God made Leelah sassy for a reason.

So I'm loving the non-downcast look. And praising God for what He has shown me. I don't want to ignite a debate. I'm just thankful to know a little better about the path my child that He has her on, whether I'm for it or against it! And yes, this is subject to change!!

My joyful prayer now is that she will "shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life."- Phlippians 2:14-16


Jon said...

It's probably for the best. Around the greater Houston area the private schools leave something to be desired. I spent a good chunk of the early years of elementary school in private Jewish schools and by the time I got back to public in the middle of fourth grade I was a year behind in math. She'll do better than we did socially. She's naturally fearless and charismatic, and makes friends easily. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for her to lay off the "boss sauce" though. I can totally see other kindergarteners following her orders.

Jon said...

love the pics by the way! I strongly advise printing them out and getting them framed. You can break them out when she is a teenager and brings all of her cool girlfriends over.

The Nichols Fam said...

Thank you for the kind words about Leelah, Jon. I had a similar experience with private school and math. Not that all private schools are that way. And I'm not trying to people please by avoiding generalizations. It's just that there's no one-size-fits-all case here.

The Vining Family said...

Well put Gillian! Leelah WILL shine!

Jamison said...

Love that book! That is the same verse I pray for Grayson. He'll be entering public school next year. Thanks for paving the way for me. Love reading your post

Jamison said...

That was jen not jamison

Ashley S. said...

Perfect! School will fit her perfectly and she is going to do so well! Thanks for laying that all out there. What other people think doesn't matter anyway, but way to be honest! Also... SO excited to hear you're considering adoption!!! That's super-awesome!

Anonymous said...

If i was still teaching in public school I would love to have a student like Leelah! She is such a fun girl and she would be one that I would look forward to teaching every day!!

Leigh said...

Ha! Love the pictures~ she's just like her mamma. :) Really enjoy reading your insights, Gillian. Excited about your hush, hush secret possibility for the future. Can't wait to see you this week!

The Nichols Fam said...

Thank you all so much for your kindness! Truly all glory goes to Him! And there were 30 pictures that Leelah took of herself and of her VBS posters that we found. 30!!!!

The Lemonade Cake Boutique Blog said...

These pictures are HILARIOUS... she will die looking at these when she's older!! lol ... I know I will be the same way when Reesey poo leaves for school! ... But don't worry she is in God's hands- and thank goodness for Texas schooling out here! Their public schools are just as good as any private school in any other state! Take pics of her big day! XOXO