If there’s one household chore that bogs me down the most, it’s packing lunches. It’s the end of a long day, and I’ve just completed the great struggle of getting the kids in bed while trying my hardest not to lose my temper. I certainly don’t want the words “You drive me crazy!” to be the last thing they hear me say before they fall asleep.
I wearily stumble to the kitchen. Unable to organize my thoughts, I absent-mindedly check email before I start packing lunches. OR maybe I decide to read for 10 minutes… then I’ll pack the lunches. Well, checking emails turns into writing emails; and reading for 10 minutes quickly becomes an hour. Pretty soon I’m ridiculously tired, and those darn lunches still aren’t packed.
You may have noticed I’ve been saying “lunches”—plural. Yes, I pack two lunches each night (not that that is a big feat by any means!). And yes, as noted from the title, my days of packing BOTH lunches are over (at least for a good while).
First, let me tell you about the end of packing Daniel’s lunch. Well, it may come as a shock to you (because it sure has been a shock to me) that Daniel recently started a new job. Oh, no need to worry… he’s still reigning in Geekdom. It is just that Geekdom has become even more prevalent around here as he is now working from home for his new position.
“Are you going to like this?” a lot of people have asked me with raised eyebrows as we’ve leaked the news to family and friends. There’s a lot of positives to having Daniel work from home, most of which involve the convenience of having a person here to chaperone the kids while I run quick errands or exercise. (No more 5am runs in the dead of winter – Whoo Hoo!)
But don’t be fooled. If you envision Daniel and I sitting on a blanket in our backyard on a beautiful summer afternoon while the kids run around, me soaking my feet in a tub of cold water as Daniel programs and we intermittently joke about our neighbor mowing his lawn twice in the past three days, you’ve got the wrong idea.
The last time Daniel worked from home I rarely “bothered” him, meaning I rarely even saw him during a workday except for lunch. Yes, I do “bop” into his office to tell him I’m running an errand, but I don’t try to engage him in small talk… or any talk for that matter. (Remember The ZONE from “things I’m trying to love about living with a geek?”) So please don’t imagine this to be some euphoric marital bonding experience in the making.
And because when we change things around here, we like to do it big time, I will not be resuming packing Alice’s lunches five days a week come the beginning of the school year. I never!! thought I would be saying this; but after months and months of consideration, Daniel and I have decided to pursue different schooling for Alice for second grade.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote a very long and boring post dissecting our reasons for pulling Alice out of her current school. But it was, indeed, very long and very boring, so I never posted it. (While copious amounts of homework as I wrote about in my last post isn’t exactly on the “plus” side of Alice’s current schooling situation, it was not a major factor in our decision to change schooling.) In my boring post, I went on and on about the emotional, behavioral and physical problems we have been linking to Alice’s current schooling over the past nine months. And while I still believe all of our reasons are valid and our decision has been confirmed again and again over the months, I don’t want to give you the wrong impression.
Hear me loudly and clearly…. We do not! dislike our school district. In fact, I would give it very high marks for caring about the students and academic rigor. Truth be told, I see Alice going back to this school district at some point in her educational career (possibly even for third grade if this year doesn’t go well). But when we knew in our heart of hearts that what appeared to be the very best school wasn’t the right school for her, we felt there had to be a change—simple as that.
So where does that put us? We are currently on a waiting list for a hybrid homeschool program, 2 days at a private school and 3 days at home with lessons facilitated by the school and myself. Again, I want to be clear—Daniel and I have nothing against public schooling as both of us are well-adjusted (at least we like to think so) products of many years of public schooling. In general, we do not believe private schools are any better than public; nor do we believe that homeschooling is superior to public education (nor do we believe homeschooling is a religious duty/Biblical commandment as seems to be a growing idea amongst “Christians”). In fact, I’ve even told Alice’s current guidance counselor if the school district were to offer this type of program, we would definitely be pursuing it. The bottom line—Daniel and I believe this new school will offer Alice a different model of education, one that is more suited to her current needs, not a better education.
Usually after I answer all the questions about what Alice’s schooling will (hopefully) look like for next year, the question about Ian’s schooling comes up. Ian has another year before kindergarten, and my answer has been “we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.” The sames goes for Alice; I’m sure we’ll re-evaluate next year as well.
But for right now, this present moment, we are enjoying the changes that are coming, hopefully for the better. And I intend to bask in the joy of no more packing lunches.