The Wallworks

Friday, February 14, 2014

Live Through This

Looking back I can't believe I was in such torture.  But I was.  It was real and all consuming and horrible.

Emry started at the Prep school last year and we loved it so much we put the other two on the waiting list.  We wanted them all to have the same great educational experience she was having.  We wanted them to spend the rest of their academic life together, at least through high school.  That was always the plan.  It was what we wanted.  Or so I thought.

I got an email 2 weeks ago saying Ethan was in.  Ok.  Great.  He'll miss his friends and teacher, but this is good.  It's the plan.  I immediately accepted a spot for him.

The next week I started feeling a bit sad, uneasy and nostalgic.  I bought the uniform clothes anyway.  Some brand spankin new, some at the thrift shop.  I didn't want to buy black shoes as he had black church shoes in his closet that most likely he'd grow out of before he wore them out, they now had double duty.

We started counting down his days at Paloma.  I still felt uneasy.  I prayed.  I prayed more, harder and more fervently than ever.  I needed an answer.  It seems dramatic but I was in tears every night.  The more I prayed and fretted the worse my stomach twisted into knots.  The doubt was so real it was in my face, an enemy I couldn't shake, scaring me daily.

We said goodbye to his teacher.  His friends.  I gave her a hug and she hugged me back with tears in her eyes.  Maybe I am like every other mother, but I know Ethan was her favorite.

That night things went from bad to worse.  For me.  Ethan was fine.  He was nervous because he knew the curriculum would be tough, but he was fine.  I couldn't sleep.  I called my mom.  No answer.  I texted Glenn the craziest texts ever.  Thank goodness he was working and wasn't privy to the manic emotional wreck I had become.

In the dark of the night with rain pounding at my window I made up my mind.  I couldn't bear to wake Ethan up at 6am every day, make him drive for 20 minutes, send him to a school, a class, a teacher and students he didn't know.  Add to his workload and stress him out.  I wasn't doing it.

I got out of bed bleary eyed not waiting to wait a moment longer to really talk to Emry about the neighborhood High School.  The have a new theater, all her friends are there, it's right around the corner.  Emry is so easy going surely if I proposed properly she'd want to go there next year.  All my ducklings would be close and I wouldn't have to rip Ethan out of his comfy cozy little environment and throw him to the wolves.  Again, dramatic, but that's the only way to describe exactly how I felt.

Emry wanted to stay put.  What?!?!  She loves the school, her Drama teacher, her friends.  It's not fair but it's just the way life is, or our family anyway.  By virtue of being the oldest by default she gets to make the decision.  All the kids were going to be together.  The prep school is 20 minutes away and on a totally different schedule and it would be too hard to have them at different schools.  Where she went, the others would follow.

My plan of marching right back to Paloma and telling them that in the last 16 hours I had changed my mind (realizing how utterly flaky I would look) and I wanted to safely put Ethan back in his class wasn't going to happen.

I woke him up, fed him, packed his lunch and drove him to school unsure of what awaited him and me there.
I met the principal, his teacher, looked around the class and reluctantly left.  That was it.

I couldn't wait to pick him up that day.  I had to know the mess I made of his life.  I had to hear how horrible it was.  I needed to comfort him and somehow make it better.

He said, and I quote "That was the most awesome first day of school ever!"

Say what?

He said, and I quote again "I felt like Justin Beiber, all the kids crowded around me, that's never happened."

Turns out he loved it.  He loves his classmates, his teacher, the cool things they have at the school, everything.

His brand new shirt.  Pants & sweater bought at the thrift store.   Glenn said "are those girls pants?"  I was hoping he wouldn't notice.  Oopsy  Gotta save a buck when I can.

So what is the takeaway here.  That prayers aren't answered?  That I am an emotional lunatic?

I've thought about it hard and here's what I've come up with.  Prayers are most definitely answered.  Sometimes our Father in Heaven doesn't respond on our time table.  Sometimes He wants us to have faith in ourselves.  Sometimes we put too much responsibility on His shoulders to make everything in our life okay instead of shouldering the work it takes.  Our human faith can be shaky and many times we let fear override the things that can be great in life.

So what's the difference between truly feeling a choice is not good for you and fear?  Since I am an expert now here's what I think.  It takes work and practice.  I know my natural tendency is to go the easy route.  The comfortable one.  I know I can let fear and doubt consume me.  I know I don't trust in Him enough.

The great thing is I can work on it.  Faith can grow.  In God and in myself.

And sometimes....... sometimes we just have to live through scary things.  Take a leap and hope we come out the other side in one piece.

It's called life. 


  1. It's funny how kids can surprise us. I don't think you were an emotional lunatic, just a good, caring mom that wants the best for her kids. Very glad your prayers were answered and the transition went well!

  2. So true, friend. So true. Funny how God uses issues such as this one to teach us and tweak our perspective. Ya know? So glad Ethan had a great first day!

  3. Oh My dalring Marie, I am battling prayers with school decisions on a daily basis around here. My heart tells me that Cullen will do better at a small Catholic school and my rationale tells me he will be just fine at the free public school around the corner. It is so hard. I am glad Ethan thrived in his new environment!

  4. I loved this post. I, too, struggle with school decisions.
    I am so glad he had a great first day. He is so handsome!

  5. "And sometimes....... sometimes we just have to live through scary things. Take a leap and hope we come out the other side in one piece."


    Every time we move, I second-guess myself up until the minute there's no turning back. {You want to see an emotional wreck, you should have hung out with me the last three weeks before we moved to London. Yikes.}

    Change is scary, every single time. You just have to have faith that regardless of the outcome, you'll be able to survive it. We are more highly adaptable than we think we are. :o) I'm so glad this chance you took turned out so well. Next time you have to make a life-altering decision for your kids, it will be just as scary, but you'll have this experience to remind you that everything WILL be ok!

  6. Well the look on Ethan's face says it all - love it!! Hope you have an awesome weekend!

  7. I'm so glad it all worked out for the best - sometimes when things are unknown that's the only reason they are scary!

  8. I am just getting around to catching up and it seems you've taken a blogging break. Oh Well! I am glad things worked out so well for you here. It is a leap of faith and sometimes it can be so hard to trust that you've done the right thing, but oh how gratifying when you find out things are ok.
    I hope you are doing well and that all is well with the Wallwork clan :)

  9. just catching up...and you've been on a break. How have you been keeping?