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On Homeschooling Bella

About a month ago, we enrolled Bella at the CDC (Child Development Center) a little ways down the road from our home. It’s an on post child care and early school program that is highly monitored and adorable to boot.

We’ve loved it. I have her going about 3 times a week for a few hours – either so I can work or be in therapy.

Bella's Classroom

A few weeks ago, one of the teachers approached me about her upcoming class for the school year. It’s a morning preschool/PreK and she thought Bella would be a great fit. She showed me her classroom and the teacher inside of me wanted to pack my bags and move in. It was so perfect, with a schedule for the kids I couldn’t have made any more delightful.

I went home and suddenly doubted my desire to homeschool. After all, it was only 8-11am. We could homeschool in the afternoons. I would have time to work and clean, run errands. Bella would be with friends in a wonderful environment and with a great teacher.

What pulled me the most was the thought of normalcy that would come with it. I could be a room mom. My daughter would be in a school setting. After all the things that we’ve had to work through, this would just look so normal to everyone from the outside. We could seem – ok. That was a very huge draw for my heart.

Yet. 

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First Day

I dropped Bella off at her first day at one of the on post childcare centers. We started out small – just two and a half hours because honestly – I don’t need a lot of care for her. A few hours for work, and several for therapy.

More than anything, I want this to be for her. I truly thought at her age we’d have 2 or 3 more kids running around, and it never crossed my mind that she’d be alone at almost 5. And yet, this is where we are. So I have to adjust my thinking for both of us, and by the look on her face this morning she’s liking it.

Bella First Day

I mean. Really. She’s just my whole heart. (Her dress and shoes are Tea Collection, book bag is by the über talented Mommy Moxie.)

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Little Changes

Lately I’ve been in a real funk. Besides all the horrible anniversaries next month, there has also been massive guilt about Bella. To put it bluntly – she’s been really hard to deal with lately. On top of that, I’ve been hard to deal with too, and Sam’s been working either the longest days or gone for a week at a time. We’ve all been stressed out and on edge.

Yesterday I was at my wits end. I just could not figure out whether I should continue with my desire to homeschool Bella, or if I was being selfish and it would be better if she was in a school this year.

On top of that, with our friends having moved, we don’t know any families with kids here, and it’s so hot out that meeting people at a park or something is out of the question.

I laid on my bed yesterday and bawled. I felt like on top of everything else, I’d pretty much failed as a mom this past year. I didn’t want to keep Bella away from peers, but with our story it was like facing a shooting squad to “join a mom’s group!” or “go to a Bible study!”

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A Day Out

This afternoon Bella and I went to the El Paso Exploreum. It’s like a Children’s Museum – most of it is based around science and hands on activities. We’ve been several times with friends, but today it was just her and I.

Bella at El Paso Exploreum

I’ve been taking her since it opened last January, and it’s fun (and wistful) to look back through the times we’ve gone and see how much she’s changed since then. She’s getting so darn tall and kid looking. The baby-ness has all but disappeared.
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Thoughts and Pics on a Friday

It’s 8am here, and Sam and Bella are still passed out in the beds, so I snuck out to get Charlie up and have a few moments to myself. I love having all of us home for long weekends like this one, but I also crave alone time during it as well. So instead of being cranky that I didn’t get a chance to write or drink coffee in silence, I carved out that time.

Maybe in my old age I’m learning some self discipline.

So what’s new – let me see. Well, coming home from California we had an oversold flight in Vegas. Bella and I gave up our seats for a flight an hour later, and scored two tickets to anywhere Southwest flies, anytime. That was pretty sweet.

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