When Poss was a toddler, a blond little terror, we went along to a local school for their fair. We thought it would be a nice afternoon out, we didn’t realise it would be the start of her school journey. But there you go. Sometimes things happen that way.
We walked through the grounds and spoke to parents already at the school. I fell a little in love with the uniforms, the facilities and more importantly the community feel that the school had. I dreamt of a school for life, a family of sorts surrounding her as she grew, stepping in a little for the fact she’s an only child.
We had an appointment with the principal within a month of that fair and Poss’ name was put on the list.
It was a big call for us. Private school meant fees we hadn’t really anticipated and the decision for all girls bought criticism from peers and much questioning from family, even though both my sister and I both had all girls educations in high school. In fact I seem to recall my sister spitting “bourgeois” at me one night over dinner, as though there couldn’t be a bigger insult.
Regardless, we went ahead and just before her 5th birthday Poss started prep.
It’s been over three years now, in fact it’s going on four. During that time, Poss has been diagnosed and through that, we’ve seen the best and the very worst of people. Even still our commitment to the school, and theirs to us, stayed strong and we worked with them to find a firm footing for our little girl to plant her feet in and grow.
But now it seems, she wants to leave.
And when we look at some of the behaviours she has been displaying, there’s no longer a way for us to look past the fact that it may be situational. The dynamics of her class have changed, perhaps irrevocably and she can recognise that. Maybe more than we give her credit for.
The light in her eyes has been fading. She doesn’t want to smile anymore. She says she doesn’t like herself. Her medications have been increased, her circle of specialists has expanded to try and cope with the changes in her. We are running along behind, trying to predict what might happen next, which thing we need to protect her from, but she’s so far out in front we are losing sight of her.
Her specialists are supporting her decision. It’s me that’s lagging behind. As always. I feel like we’ve made a commitment. A school for life. I feel like we’ve been through so much to start again somewhere else. The old ‘better the devil you know’ phrase is being whispered in my ear.
But it’s not about me. It’s about my little girl. It’s about what’s right for her.
New beginnings and a chance to make it right. A chance for us to bring our little girl back and find the light in her eyes again.
So the search for a new school has begun.