Sunday, April 5, 2009

"To every thing there is a season..."

Well, as promised here is the post explaining the cryptic comment about the school 'costing' us our spring break. I have just come from tucking in a very nervous and anxious 11yo who will be starting at our local public grammar school tomorrow with only one quarter left to her 5th grade year! As I reflect on this situation I'm choked up remembering her educational road to this year and wonder just how it could have taken such a precipitous turn...... Here she is on her first day of school ever! Just dying to get into the classroom with hardly a wave good bye. My smart as a whip 3.5 yo who could already read after only living in the United States for half a year. The little girl who arrived completely conversational in Spanish and within 6mos was now significantly above age standards for vocabulary in English! When she first came home we lived in the heart of the city of Chicago. It was a great location for a childless couple but as soon as this dynamic bundle of joy arrived it became obvious that we needed to move. We lived 30-45min away from either of the families and the local schools consisted of a mediocre private or abysmal public as our choices! We picked up and moved to suburbia were the cousins all lived within a mile and the school choices were all excellent. Because we had excellence offered either way we opted to send Mari to the private church school which is literally across the street from our home.
Sweet big sister guiding her baby sister to her first day of kindergarten. That is our driveway they are standing on waiting to cross into the school yard! See how close!!!Most mornings they can throw on their coats while the bell is ringing and still make it in the door on time! She blossomed within the strict structure of their rules....until this year. For some inconceivable reason the school decided to replace the 5th grade teacher (who left after maternity leave) with a very timid, brand NEW teacher. HELLO, this is FIFTH grade!!! Hormones pumping at the same time that the curriculum ramps up for Junior High and from the pool of applicants they picked an insecure rooky??? Okay, no problem she'll get better as the year goes on because surely the other teachers will mentor her, right? ...and even if they don't the administration will provide her with back-up and support? NOT!!!!!!!! After conferences regarding specific concerns we waited for action plans which never appeared and after watching three straight quarters of falling grades we put in three separate requests for conferences with the principal. It became clear that they were stalling in a effort to cover their proverbial hind ends as request after request went unanswered. We crossed our line in the sand this past Monday when the teacher willfully, clearly directed Mari to disobey her parents!!!!! This from a "Christian" school where the students are supposedly expected to use the commandments to guide their behavior to be like Jesus'. Of course, this all comes to a head while the public schools are on their spring break and now result in us having children with two different vacation schedules! Mari has been asked too many times in her life to take the hit for decisions made by the adults around her! I ache for this child who must yet again uproot herself and try to find a place to thrive in this world. It's been a rough week emotionally but thanks to Auntie Peggy who swept in and collected her to go with the other 'public' cousins to the Great Wolf Lodge water park in the Dells she got a 'bit' of a vacation. Then today one of our best friends showed the true Christian love and they did an 'intervention'. Their family came over and 'kidnapped' us and took us to the best Palm Sunday services we had ever attended. They wanted to let the girls know how much they were loved and the whole car ride was a Semana Santa theme followed by a 'New(school) Year' celebration in......
CHINATOWN!!! We passed the Olympic committee taking a walking tour of the city and honked & shouted out our support for the city's selection. Then took a quick walking tour ourselves before storming one of the poor restaurants with our crazy bunch of girls!
A sweeter support team was never assembled! BFFs Molly and Mary Kate worked non-stop to cheer up the moping Mahoney's and it WORKED!!!
Nothing like a meal among friends to improve the mood! The chop sticks were never quite mastered but it was fun trying. The drive home was a 'school daze' theme and by the time all of their anecdotes were told there was many a stitch in a side! So what the 'purpose under heaven' is we are not yet enlightened but it's clearly a season of change in this home!
BTW, thought I'd show you our psycho weather....
This morning dressed for the start of Semana Santa. Chilly but the sun made it bearable.
Tonight! Secretly I think she's hoping for a snow day..............................


  1. What sweet friends you have! Looked like you all had a lot of fun!
    I bet your daughter us just going to love her new school! I cant wait to hear how it goes!

  2. Mari is in my prayers tonight for a great start in her new school! Wish her luck and tell her I want to hear all about it!!

  3. I just know that Mari will love her new school and just seeing the snow flakes makes me shiver from cold!!!