Meeting of the Minds…Open Enrollment

Kirk and I almost always agree on most things, when we don’t we’ll sit down and talk it out and come to a meeting in the middle. Seldom do either one of us feel so strongly about something that only one of us agrees on the matter and puts their foot down and says, this is just the way it’s going to be.  

When it comes to open enrollment and my son’s education, my foot is down and this old lady isn’t budging!  I can tell that Kirk doesn’t like it but I get the feeling that he knows how strongly I feel about the subject that he doesn’t say anything, he just stops talking.  

When we moved back home about 11 years ago I was bound and determined that my kids weren’t going to go to the school I went to.  It’s not that it wasn’t a good school system, it is, I wasn’t overly happy there in junior and senior high school because I didn’t feel I fit in and swore than no kid of mine would ever go there.  I was a tomboy and the school was very preppy and while I got along with almost everyone in every clique, I just didn’t feel as though I fit in.

Fast forward to just over a year ago when our daughter was a senior and I realized just what she didn’t learn going to the school her dad went to versus the school I went to.  Talk about day and night difference.  I still get upset with myself at times when I think about it, I should have noticed these things and didn’t until it was too late.  

I’ve pushed and pushed my kids from the very beginning because my parents didn’t and I just skated through, doing only what I had to into order to slide by with a D-.  As long as I was seeing good grades and the teachers weren’t calling I thought all was well.  

Last March, after just one more phone call from our son’s teacher, I said enough was enough, I was going to open enroll Bubba to the school I went to.  Kirk didn’t like it from the get go, I said enough was enough.  

I was so tired of the phone calls that started out…he really is a good, kind hearted boy, he’s the first to help someone hurting or being bullied, he is such a sweet kid…then the same old story, he doesn’t pay attention in class, he rushes through his homework, I just don’t know what to do to get his attention then the story would change to, I’ve tried treats and prizes and they don’t work and I don’t want to get down hard on him and have him not like me.  

This was the song and dance in the 2nd, 3rd and 5th grades.  That would lead to Kirk and I saying to stop babying him, take things away, don’t bribe him with treats for doing what he’s supposed to be doing, remind him it’s his job to get an education, to do the work and do it right.  

The last straw last year was when I finally said, I’ll just come to school and follow him all day and if I have to embarrass him by telling him to stop daydreaming and pay attention, I will.  There’s only so much dad and I can do from home.

That’s the day I called my old school and talked to the superintendent.  Of course I was only weeks past the deadline to open enrollment for the year.  I asked various questions about the way things were handled there, hoping that things were still run the same or similar after over 20 years and new principals and superintendents and I was thrilled to hear that they are actually tougher than when I was there.  

So, I now have our son set to start school in M-Town next fall!  I am so excited!  He is too…he knows lots of kids from there already and he’ll have a first cousin in his grade, always fun.  Thankfully, although the school is still preppy, it has mellowed quite a bit, there is a bigger farm kid presence and it’s okay.  He’s one of those kids that seems to be able to fit in just about anywhere and never seems to be at a loss of being able to make friends, there’s a natural ability that he has that I never had, a number of teachers have told us that over the years.  

We were in M-Town for supper a couple nights ago and Bubba mentioned being excited to start school there next year, all my husband would say was, make sure you really think about it and that it’s what you really want.  He says that whenever we bring up the subject, it’s his way of saying, if you don’t want to, he’s not going to make him.  I’m just glad Bubba seems so happy to be changing because if he wasn’t I feel quite certain that I would have a fight on my hands with dad.  

Seldom do I ever feel so strongly about something that I would stand up and say, no, this is just what’s going to be…I feel down in my bones that it’s the right thing to do.  Heck, even our daughter told us one night at the supper table that she didn’t want to see her brother going to school here anymore, she wanted better for him.  That says a lot right there.  

Hopefully this move will be the good one that I think it will be.  It will be a lot of time on the road, but that’s okay.  It’s worth giving it a shot and seeing what happens.  I so wish I could have had this option when I was a kid.  

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