The choices we make

I made the mistake of getting myself into an online argument about our local school district vs another nearby school district that is definitely in an upscale area. One poster told me that the only way to make sure the children in our community got a quality education was to move to the upscale area with the better school district. I told him some of us don’t have that choice, for various reasons, and that we were doing the best we could with what we had available to us.

What he responded with made me see red.

We all have choices, the mindset that you are somehow locked down into this or that situation is either (both?) self imposed or created by whomever it is that wants that kind of control over your life. Granted climbing out of the hole you dug for yourself might take a lot of work depending on how long you been at it, but the FIRST part of getting out is to STOP DIGGING!!! LOL

First off..nobody is in control of my life except me. And maybe The Great Whatever (I haven’t decided yet). I don’t think I’m in a hole because I’ve accepted the fact that yeah, my life is the way it is. I’m not digging myself in any deeper, in my opinion, by struggling against the fact that we don’t have a lot of money and we don’t have a lot of things. I have accepted (for the most part anyway) that this is my lot in life and that it’s perfectly OK for this to be the way it is.

We were lucky (ok, smart) enough to get together with the right people that got us to fix our thinking … “mind surgeons” so to speak. We try to help others with that now.

I don’t need a ‘mind surgeon’, thanks. That sounds kind of cultish and scary if you ask me.

In our case, the “ideal” home was in (local school ISD)… and we went through *exactly* the same gyrations of deciding to put the kids into (local school ISD) or into (expensive private Christian based charter school) including having to mess with our jobs to transport the kids. Ultimately, we took a DRAMATIC downgrade in a house to live in (upscale ISD).. literally to where my bride was in tears because it was going to be the “worst house we have had is the one we will live in the longest”! (we can laugh at that now, was not so funny when it was happening)

Wow. That surprised me. The homes where we live are (at least in certain areas of the town) are very, very nice. I mean, yeah, we do have a trailer park and a shitty apartment complex but most of the homes are pretty decent. Not trashy. And from what I know of Upscale Nextdoor Town, the homes are very, VERY nice. Mostly because the city is filled with people with more money than sense.

Our kids ended up with a superior education, literally our youngest will save tens of thousands on college because she will graduate a semester early in nursing because of the AP credits she carried in, along with all the money they earned in scholarships, grants, etc.; including grants for international courses; plus have a leg up on everybody because of the kinds of opportunities available in FISD.

I tried very very hard to frame my reply in a polite manner, but it wasn’t easy.

My son (who is what we call high special needs–Autism spectrum, ADHD, sensory intergration disorder, mild apraxia which is a speech disorder, dyspraxia which is a motor planning/motor coordination disorder, social anxiety and hypotonia which is chronic low muscle tone) has been in (local ISD) since the beginning of his “school career” when he was 3 years old. He’s had, for the most part, wonderful teachers who have bent over backwards in many cases to make sure that he is getting what he needs and trying their damndest to work around what the district (or in some cases the state board of education) says they’re “allowed” to do for/with him.

Switching to a school in (upscale ISD) would mean uprooting our entire lives, which I’m not willing to do. We would have to move..which I don’t want to do AT ALL because I genuinely LOVE living in (small town)and I love my neighbors (although not my HOA LOL). We don’t make a lot of money and we probably couldn’t afford to live in (Upscale Nextdoor town)anyway unless it has a ghetto we don’t know about. We are doing the best we can to take what we have and make the best of it. That’s all we can do. And I’m more than willing to do it.

If your kid was able to take AP classes and get grants and scholarships…that’s wonderful for you and your family. My child came into this world with a whole lot of disadvantages your children didn’t. It’s taken me a long time to accept that and to be more or less OK with it. Do I still shake my fist at the sky and scream at The Great Whatever sometimes because having a child with this set of problems SUCKS? Yeah. I do. But then I suck it up and keep moving forward, because regretting that my child isn’t “normal” (whatever that means) doesn’t help ANYBODY.

Because that’s the way I genuinely feel.

We moved to SmallTown almost fifteen years ago and have watched it grow from a small town with less than three thousand residents to an up and coming suburb with close to fifty thousand residents (I think..I haven’t checked in awhile to see how many people actually live here). I’ve loved watching it grow and change over the years to the place it’s become. I love the fact that I am less than a ten minute drive from the lake, where we like to sometimes hang out in the summer. I love, most of the time anyway, our library and fire and police departments. I love our school district..most of the time anyway. Did the former school board and former superintendent make boneheaded decisions at times? Of course they did. But things are changing and changing for the better, I can only hope and pray.

I’ve put down roots here and I’ve dug in deep. I ain’t leaving till they drag me out by my ankles when I’m dead. Because this is my HOME. Good or bad, this is it.

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