Friday, August 28, 2015

Job Change

As the time for Ching to be home from work nears, Noah and I are closing out an great week in a very long summer of the first five years of his life and the end of my dream job - being a stay-at-home mom.  I feel like I'll be more of a house wife than SAHM, but it's really just semantics. (Twenty years ago, I would state that my goal was to be a kept woman... being a SAHM is not quite the same thing, heh.)

I've had a hard time this week wondering if I've done a good job.  How much more could I have done?  What should I have done differently?  You know...  The result of my work is who Noah is.  And although I can't take all the credit, I tend to take quite a bit.  He's happy.  He's polite.   He's just a good kid overall.  What more could I ask for?

No, this isn't the end of parenting.  But it is the end of this specific phase of life.

We also did the week right.  We went to Kids N Motion, Chuck E Cheese, the playground, and the water park.  We ate lots of chicken nuggets and french fries and drank lemonade.  We watched the Lego Movie a time or two a day.  All before Ma got home every evening.

I've told him I'm going to miss him while he's at school.  He doesn't know what I mean, really.  But I trust he feels it. 

Kindergarten and "Good" Schools

Noah's school had open house last night, so we got to go see the school, his classroom, and meet his teacher and classmates.  He is so, so excited and ready for school to start.  We were there from 3:30 to 5:30 (part of the time we were in the library hearing from the principal and he was back in the classroom with the kids) and he didn't want to leave when it was time to go home.  His teacher seems really nice and ready to handle a lot of kindergarteners. 

I've written over the years how I feel about public schools and such.  And I wrote about how much we loved and appreciated Noah's teachers and school last year.  As the start of school has gotten closer these past couple of weeks, and back to school is the most common topic on FB and even sometimes for Ching at work, the idea of "good" schools is something Ching and I talk about. 

I'm sure the reality of Noah being a special ed boy - even to the small degree that he is - helps shape my thoughts.  As does the fact that he loves kids and school so much. 

So our goal for Noah this school year is very simple - that he continues to love going to school and enjoying it and that he makes friends.  Will he learn how to write better, and how to read, and things like that.  Of course.  Is that important, sure.  It's just not our biggest concern. 

When we bought our house we, we bought the nicest, least expensive house we thought we could afford.  That means we live in the blue collar, working class part of the huge DC metro (as opposed to the "thinking" class that dominates this area).  Our house cost 1/3 or 1/4 of what most of Ching's co-workers cost.  We thought we'd live in it for three or four years and then finally be moving out of the DC area all together.  Nope.  We also didn't care about schools and such because we didn't know we'd be having Noah. 

We like our house, we don't absolutely love it, but we're doing the improvements that make us happy.  I love that we're in a cul de sac and that there are two or three neighbor kids for Noah to play with sometimes.  I love the trees and the quiet.  And I appreciate the working class nature of our neighbors. 

But...  that all important question... how are the schools?  I don't know.  We could talk about class size, socioeconomic status, ethnic make-up, things like that.  Would Noah's school rate very well, probably not.  And yet every school personnel there last night was helpful and friendly and seemed to truly be happy to be there.  I know there are fantastic schools where that's not always true.  Maybe the teachers in Noah's not top of the line school know they have to work a little harder for their students. 

I don't know.  We're taking this school thing one year at a time.