Many of you, at least I am assuming there are many of you reading this, know that I am a busy Mom of 6 children.
You also know by now that not all of my children still live at home.
There is GoodMom who has entered her 30's, has a husband, a mortgage and two adorable children, FancyPants and BabyG.
Then there is SmartGirl, not quite in her 30's and only recently employed in a field related to her college degree and more recently moved into her very own apartment.
Finally, there is ManBoy, who went to college, for a while, now works at two jobs and was the most recent, like within the last month, to move out and into the life of an adult-like person. Thank goodness for his room mates or he would not have been able to move out at all!
That leaves me, BusyMom, and HeMan Hubby, the most wonderful man on earth, home with 3 teenage children who think that they know absolutely everything about absolutely everything.
TeenBoy is 15, BratChild is 14 and SIX is 13.
I worry about our financial stability. Our ability to meet the needs of the children, beginning with TeenBoy in a very short 3 years, and followed rapidly by BratChild and then SIX as they graduate from high school and begin their pursuit of higher education.
How the heck am I going to put 3 more kids through college?
Add to this constant concern is the very wonderful, yet awful event that has made me feel even more guilty and inadequate where the kid's futures are concerned.
A local private school approached us about SIX. They want him to play football for them. They want him to take the entrance exam. Money? We can work that out...I spoke to several parent's of children currently attending, some were strangers but surprisingly some were not. I know them and know that they, like us, do not have the resources to afford 13k a year in tuition for high school. Do not worry they all said. The money will appear, it is amazing how it works out.
Yes, this is amazing. If my child scores well on the tests and the coach really wants him to play the school will find the money for him to go... and yet...
What about TeenBoy? What about BratChild?
I cannot afford 1 year for 1 child let alone any years for 3 children. But how can I send SIX and not send the other 2? Can I give 1 child the opportunity to go to a school whose graduates historically are accepted, and recieve amazing scholarships to, NYU and Stanford and UNC and Harvard and Yale...
While their current school, the public school, has graduates that are attending the local community college, Morgan State College and Mt. St. Mary's University and Frostburg and ITT Technical College...
Is it fair to offer advantages to the one child and not the others?
I know life is not fair, but a parent should be.
We should love our children equally.
We should provide the same opportunities and experiences to all of our children equally.
We should never let our children feel that one is better than another, or give them a reason to think it, even if it is not true.
I know some will say I am being overly concerned about this. And yes, I know that I am. But with good reason.
My older brother went to private school because my parents felt the public school was unsafe. He then went on to the college affiliated with the prep school he attended.
WE, my brothers and sisters, we went to the public school, the one my parents felt was unsafe, or not good enough, whatever, for our oldest sibling, but was apparently just fine for us.
We did not go to college, there was no discussion about any higher education in our home, no plans made for scholarships or college brochures ordered or visits scheduled.
We got the most from our public school educations and planned for our futures while in high school.
Me, I went to nursing school while in high school.
My sister? She did work study with a government agency and went there to work full time upon graduation. My brother? He followed in her footsteps and worked right out of school for several years until he found a way to be able to afford to go off to college and earn a degree.
My guilt is enormous. I helped the older 3 when and how I could.- college tuition, help with rent, money for groceries, or the actual groceries from my pantry when they needed it.
I am not where I thought I would be at this point in my life. The economy has made all of our plans null and void. All of the things we thought we would be able to do for, to provide our children are no longer possible.
But I can provide equal attention and love. I can make sure they have the best opportunities available within our means. I can make sure that they are all treated the same and never feel that one is better or worth more than the others...
So, my decision kills me inside, but it is the only one I can make and live with.
SIX will go to public school with TeenBoy and BratChild. He will play football with TeenBoy. He will be in Geometry with BratChild. All of them will travel in the same circle of friends and have similar high school experiences.
We may have to move, to downsize to be able to afford college for them and I am fully prepared to give up our home and sacrifice what we worked so hard to hold on to...
For my children I will do what I need to do...
Because that, after all, is my job as a parent...
To give them all the best that I can in every way that I possibly can