The Dawkter's Wife - It's all champagne and caviar now … dahling

The Loony Bin

January 15, 2012

Not January

This is the warmest January on record in Minnesota. (Thumbs up to global warming!) Ordinarily, by this time of year I am starting to feel over winter.  This year, I almost miss it.  I have actually caught myself complaining about how warm it is.  I guess the evil I know is better than waiting for the shoe to drop.  I have this sense of impending weather doom … when will it hit? How bad will it be?  Now that we are approaching mid-January though, I’ve started to relax and enjoy it.  Last year at this time we had been under more than a foot of snow for 2 months.  Right now, we have a dusting outside.  I’m not sure if it is an inch or not, but it is the first time all winter that snow has actually stayed on the ground for more than a day.The way I have it figured, we have escaped the worst of winter.  Whatever comes now, I can handle it.

Which brings me to Amanda.

I think that whatever comes now, I can handle it.  I even wonder if we needed to go through this past 1.5 years of this homeschooling winter in order for me to get to a place where I can accept her struggles with learning and she is ready to try going to a new school and has agreed to both counseling and an academic assessment.  We are ready … together … but it has not been without tears and … wine.

Tuesday, she starts the second semester at her new school.  I say this with one laughing and one crying eye (as they say in Germany).  I wanted homeschooling to work out.  In my fantasy, we bonded, studied and became closer as mother and daughter.  She homeschooled until she graduated and then went on to college because … you know, I’m the master puppeteer and I made it happen.

The reality deviated from that quite a bit.  The first year we had some successes, and to be honest, we have made a lot of progress when it comes to her maturity, personal responsibility and judgment.  She still has quite a way to go, and this past semester was really just an exercise in failure (at least in my book).  We started out strong, but ended on a low note.  I couldn’t get her to work on math, finish her assignments with respectable grades, or take me seriously.  She complained that she wanted a real high school experience.  It just was downhill every month.  I felt overwhelmed by frustration and a sense of failure.  So did she.

Her willingness to move on to a new school and to start over as a 2nd semester 9th grader, and my willingness to accept testing and possible special ed assignement is a testament to how far we fell together, and how desperate we both are now for change.


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