Thursday, October 20, 2011

I never give up; I just change my mind

Adapting the Goal
The past few months have been a whirlwind of change. Changing jobs, changing homes, changing Lorelei’s school- wait did she just say? Yes, I did. School. But, wasn’t the whole point to keep Lorelei out of the masochistic institution that grinds out semi-literate neophytes and engage in a bohemian, offbeat lifestyle that will breed an amazing, objectivist freethinker? Why, yes, so kind of you to remember! So what’s the deal?

Work Happened
The year began with me happily situated in a Production Coordinator position at a national TV network. While the work was good and the people were fabulous, I outgrew the job and searched the big, wide world over for a new opportunity. I had interviews in New York, Philadelphia and Pinellas Park (now there’s a spread) and finally settled in as a Project Manager for a marketing solutions company working with a humongous financial institution. Now, when I say, “settled”, I mean “slumped”. Full on, weight-gaining misery that sucked my soul dry on a daily basis. After 88 whole days I found myself a brand=spanking-new job as Program Manager at a boutique marketing agency based in Ybor City. Please note the double promotion in the span of 4 months; pretty awesome if I do say so myself. Goodbye corporate soul-suckers, hello 90-minute commute and awesome work environment.

With the additional miles and hours required in my new gig and my Tarpon Springs home base, I could no longer keep Lorelei at her amazing babysitter’s. Two months of hand wringing and option-trying I:
  • Interviewed nine nannies
  • Tried to negotiate flexible work hours
  • Worked through lunch
  • Rushed through traffic
  • Emailed from the car
  • Pieced together a four-person child care team
  • Desperately tried to homeschool in the hour between getting home, dinner time, bath time, bed time and back on the road again before the sun had risen
  • Induced separation anxiety in Lorelei so she would no longer sleep in her own bed and develop tummy trouble
  • Stopped even trying to keep a clean house or cook homemade meals

If you think life was unbearable, you’re right. Something had to give. The job? The sitter? The home? My sanity?

But I Hate Schools!
I visited several schools close to my work. My generous mother visited every Montessori school in the Tampa Bay Area. And while so many of them had positive points, there was always some detraction that I couldn’t overcome. The hours, the reputation, the staff. Something was always just a little off. Let’s not even talk about trying to fund this little venture. On a whim I put Lorelei on the waiting list at Christ the King School. Alumni of this school include, my sister, my aunt, my cousins, my mother and myself. Talk about a recommendation! Within days of my throwing in the towel the secretary, the same secretary that used to take my temperature when I was in Kindergarten called to say CKS had an opening. Finally! A school I can trust! For crying out loud, my 1st, 4th, 6th and 8th grade teachers were still there. People who knew me and watched my sister and I grow up were still there. They remembered us; the school hadn’t changed. Best of all, they are 15 minutes from work!

How is it different than that nightmare scenario I was trying to avoid?
I can be a part of Lorelei’s day
  • Guest Reader
  • Volunteer
  • Constant communication with the teaching staff
  • Family events nearly every other weekend
  • The opportunity to stop in whenever I want

Private Schools make their own rules
  • Input in curriculum
  • Standards set by the parents
  • A firm expectation that parents stay involved

Providing a foundation
  • I am not religious but I’m glad Lorelei is getting that foundation that I am familiar with. It gives us a jumping off point to tackle questions of faith and theology
  • I encourage individuality at every turn but I’m not very good about encouraging cooperation with the outside world. CKS encourages more cooperative interactions and while the groupthink is a little much for me, again, a balance.

So what? You’re just giving up?
Absolutely not! Bat Country is in full swing. We learn French in the car through audiobooks (j’taime bebe), read novels instead of slumping in front of the TV, work through our homeschool books and complete CKS homework with our own personal twist. We’re moving to Tampa to be closer to work and school and cutting expenses to move our learning experience from the living room to great big world. We’re minimizing the superfluous and focusing on the substantial. You thought we were going to stay on the same straight and narrow? Have you met us?

Remember kids…we can’t stop here, this is Bat Country.