PreK & not being in control



Recently we began the process of enrolling Eliza in public school PreK. In Tulsa there are a few different options. There are the traditional neighborhood public schools. Ours is less than a mile from our home. Then there's the magnet schools. Three to be exact. Only one is free for PreK, however. And then there's always the option of transferring to a different neighborhood school. Not to mention the other options: private school (which is out of the question regardless because of money) or homeschooling (a definite option and pretty common in the Tulsa area).

Thinking about everything back in the fall so easily overwhelmed me. I didn't even know where to begin, not to mention having to decide what option was "best" for Eliza.

Knowing the enrollment date was in early February, I began doing some research back before Christmas. Part of me wanted to just go the easy way out and not research anything or attempt to put her in any of the magnet schools (or "lottery" schools), for fear of being rejected anyway and having all that time and effort wasted.

But then I remembered how many appointments I attend for Lindie each week and how Eliza faithfully and cheerfully attends alongside. And I remembered how much time and energy I put into Lindie's needs and that Eliza only has one event in a given week that requires my attention and scheduling: dance. With that in mind, I reached out to our neighborhood association for input and started putting the pieces together. After a few hours combined of perusing school websites and talking with Chris, I decided to visit Mayo Demonstration School- a magnet school in the heart of Tulsa that is actually free for PreK. I set up my tour date (a requirement to even be able to apply) and made a plan.

It was slightly surreal walking into an elementary school thinking of my little Rosie walking down the hallways. She still seems so small and young and fragile and not ready. But she's 3 going on 4, even though I still think of her as my tiny baby I'm realizing she's not. Sadly.

After the tour I came home encouraged but also still very unsure of what is "best" for Eliza. Going to a magnet school would definitely be a great option for her, but it would also require me to drive her across town everyday versus going to school right in our neighborhood, a mere two minute drive. It would also mean we wouldn't be eligible to apply to the other magnet schools, one of which is right next to the Little Light House, an amazing, gospel-centered and free school for children with disabilities of which Lindie is on the wait list for.

And of course theres always the concerns in the back of my mind for Lindie. Whatever school Eliza goes to I would, of course, consider for Lindie and yet I'm still so new and fresh with everything that I have barely even begun thinking about IEPs and special education programs and the millions and bajillions of future meetings I'm sure I will sit in with teachers and faculty to talk about and advocate for what is best for Lindie.

How am I to know Eliza's best or Lindie's best for all these things now? How am I to know any of that?

And then I remembered that I don't.

An old friend recently contacted me and told me that she was reminded of how God orchestrated our move to Tulsa from Missouri a little over two yersas ago and how incredible it is to think on it. There was so much that had to fall in place for that to even happen. Just thinking about Tulsa itself- I had never stepped foot in Tulsa (except maybe for a pee break once on the way to my sister's house) before the weekend we traveled to Tulsa for Chris's job offer. And yet here I am living and breathing in Tulsa with friends and a church body and, even better, there is an amazing, gospel-centered, free school for children with disabilities and I live less than a mile from it with a baby with Down syndrome!

God knew! He knew it all and orchestrated our move knowing it would allow sweet Lindie to attend the Little Light House and here I am worrying about sending Eliza to this school or that. Obviously he can and will put Eliza exactly where he wants her to be, whether that is Mayo or our neighborhood school or homeschooling or whatever he decides. He knows and he's in charge and I don't have to be.

And what a relief that I don't have to be.

So last week when I submitted the application for the magnet school I breathed a breath of relief. Not because I figured it all out or know the answers or can hope for one thing or another, but that I know that whatever happens happens. The Lord's hand is over it all. He cares about Eliza. He cares about her future. And he knows exactly what will happen and where she will be next year, even if I don't.

For that I am so grateful.

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