“Provided the test comes back fine, I’ll plan to see you back here in, let’s see…maybe June.” My OBGYN gave me a little smirk on his way towards the door.
“June? You mean next Feb– oh. You’re funny.”
It wouldn’t be an annual womanly checkup if Dr. H didn’t joke with me about trying for a third kid. I’d like to think it’s because I’m his favorite patient, and it’s just his way of saying he would like to hang out with me more often. (Is that a weird thing to say about your OBGYN? Because I feel like it might be weird. Even though I don’t mean it to be. It’s just that Dr. H is kind of the bomb – and a great conversationalist, considering the circumstances surrounding our interaction. Like, I’d totally go have a few beers with him…if he wasn’t checking up on the health and wellness of my lady bits.) However, as the father of seven or so children himself, I think his enthusiasm for me getting pregnant again simply comes from him being pro-baby…and pro-more income to pay for seven college tuitions. I also *may* have told him I would name the next kid after him. Continue reading “This Mom Thought About Having a Third Kid. See What Changed Her Mind!”→
It’s four minutes to six. We’re sitting at a blinking yellow stoplight, waiting to make a left turn to get to baseball practice. I’m watching the steady stream of oncoming traffic, feeling new muscles tense at the thought of running behind, coming off the heels of piano. If I could just get them there, I can go home and enjoy some solitary moments while making dinner.
There is bickering coming from the backseat. By most respects, they’re still small people; their voices should be small. But they aren’t. They’re big, and relentless, and grating. Those voices fight for the attention I should be paying to the road. Why are they doing this? Why are they continuing to do this after I have repeatedly asked them to stop? They clearly have no idea.
They have no idea that while they’re bickering about Grace not sharing her lollipop with Michael, I’m fumbling in my purse for the pair of socks my son needs to wear with his cleats…socks he doesn’t even realize he needs. And cleats he needed to be reminded to bring.
They have no idea that while Grace was practicing piano, I was sitting in my car checking calendars and scheduling our lives.
They have no idea that while they were having an after-school snack and neglecting my “x amount of minutes until we leave” warnings, I was readying piano books and baseball gear. Like that pair of socks.
They have no idea that while shuttling them home from school and being blinded by the sun, I realized I left my sunglasses on the field as I tried to video-record Michael’s outdoor May ceremony earlier that day. And in my haste to get to the ceremony on time, I had neglected to put on sunscreen, resulting in a rosy pink sunburn on my shoulders.
They have no idea that the reason I was leaving at the last minute to get to the May ceremony was because I was trying to finish a freelance job I picked up for extra money. Extra money my husband and I hope to use to take the family to Disney World.
They have no idea that I lost precious working time this morning when I went up to school for an event Grace’s class was having, only to find out it had been rescheduled for two days later…and Grace had simply neglected to inform me of the change.
They have no idea that every morning when I check my schedule, most of it is directly related to them. And now I’m sitting here, trying to make a left turn in rush hour traffic, and I’m the only one concerned that we are going to be late for one of their activities. Right now, all they seem to care about is hating each other, ignoring my pleas for silence, and that damned lollipop. They have zero appreciation for anything I have done for them today.
Then I see it. A small opening in traffic. If I can squeeze through and make this turn, we might just get to practice on time. But can I make it? Those cars are coming awfully fast. But the sooner I get there, the sooner I can hand them over to someone else. And I can have time to myself. I think I can make it…
…But if I don’t make it, time to myself may be all I have left. And when I check my schedule every morning, I might only be able to wish all of it could be directly related to them.
In an instant, getting to practice on time doesn’t seem to matter. And neither does the fact that they’re still arguing over a lollipop instead of marveling at the sacrifices I make for them everyday. Because I still get to make sacrifices for them. There is no way in hell I am going to let the last thing I ever hear from them be a pointless fight or the last thing I feel for them be extreme annoyance.
So I let the light turn red. I let the clock tick past six. And they still have no idea.
Before my daughter started kindergarten last year, my husband and I had the discussion that I am sure a lot of parents have: whether to send her to public school or to a Catholic parochial school. In many ways, it was an agonizing decision. But truth be told, I think we both knew what our answer was going to be before we even started the discussion.
I would like to start by saying that first and foremost, I believe in SCHOOL…whatever form it takes. Education is one of the most important tools we parents can give our children. And my husband and I knew we were in a good position for this. We live in a fantastic school district AND our parish parochial school is very impressive as well. So this really was not a question of where our kids would get the best education. We knew we would be happy with the curriculum and standards of either school. Besides, learning is just as much about what the student and the parents put into it as it is about what the school offers.
But there is that little issue of tuition. That was really where our biggest stumbling block occurred. When you make a side by side comparison of free education with an education that comes with a fairly sizable price tag, it is hard to ignore the difference. Catholic school tuition meant sacrifice for us. The question became, is that sacrifice worth it? When it really came down to it, we thought it was.
It is sometimes hard to explain to people who do not understand why we would choose to pay for Catholic education when we could send our kids to a wonderful public school for free and supplement their religious education with PSR (Parish School of Religion) classes once a week. But it is the same reason I chose to take a teaching position at a Catholic high school over a better paying one at a local public school. It just felt right.
It felt right for the development of my children’s spiritual lives to be a natural part of their education, that God can be part of the equation in any subject matter. After all, He is part of the whole equation in our home life. Does it not make sense that He be a part of their educational life? I am not going all “creationism over evolution” here. But I do believe that God can be found in science. And it is nice to know that my kids will be able to discuss that in a classroom setting.
And there are other things that make me happy about sending my kids to a Catholic school. I had one of those little reminders just yesterday. As I pulled into the parking lot for pickup, I noticed Grace and her classmates were encircling the statue of Mary outside the church with a bunch of blue balloons. They were having a prayer service in honor of Mary’s birthday. And like any good birthday party, they all got goodies at the end, in the form of fruit snacks. Then the students dispersed to find their parents and head home. Grace walked over to me with her friend Sarah and I said, “It looks like you guys were having a little party over there.” They both smiled and replied, “Yeah! Mary’s birthday!” Then they high-fived each other. That’s right…they were giving each other some skin for the Holy Mother’s big day. The phrase “you know you go to Catholic school when…” popped into my head. But it was really just too cute for words.
Now that we have started our second year of Catholic education for my daughter, do we ever second guess our decision? I have to admit there are times when that tuition bill comes around and I literally grunt, and times when I drive past our public elementary school and envy all that free education happening behind the doors. But other than that, I can wholeheartedly say we have been so happy with the decision we made. Grace’s school has lived up to every expectation we had, and I feel good that I am giving her (and eventually Michael) a similar educational story to the ones my husband and I had…which we actually really loved and appreciate to this day.
Oh, and I have not even BEGUN to sing the praises of those plaid uniforms. Let’s not even mention how adorable Grace looks in it. The fact that I can avoid the battle of the wardrobe every morning might just be worth the tuition alone…we certainly have enough battles to fight without that one rearing its head. Oh, how my gratitude to the Catholic school system swells…