Today is the day.
The day I tell my daughter she's not going back to school this fall.
The day I attempt to explain that healing her heart is more important than reading, writing and arithmetic. That it's more important than computers and science and social studies. More important than gym class and art and music and field trips and recess.
More important than friends.
Today is the day I have to tell her, and I have no idea how she'll take the news.
Could she be excited to stay home with Mom? Will she start throwing tantrums again? Start one of her downward cycles? Will she be sad? Angry? Confused? Thrilled? I just don't know.
How do I get her to understand that she needs to learn to love me...she needs to learn to love her family before any other relationships can be anything but dangerous. Grandparents, teachers, Sunday school teachers, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends. They are all dangerous.
School is dangerous.
And I need to learn to love her, too, beyond caring for her...providing for her...disciplining her...tolerating her. She needs love that can't wait to gather her up in its arms and hold on tight forever and ever. Love that bakes cookies and reads books and snuggles down deep under covers. Love that giggles and tells secrets and paints toenails and has imaginary tea parties in make-believe castles. Love that treasures her.
She needs that kind of love.
It's time to stop escaping from her. It's time to stop sending her off to school, turning a blind eye to the damage that is nurtured there year after year after year. Sending her to school has been my way of staying sane for the last five years, my way of surviving the task of raising her. But the time has come. God has spoken, and this year Miss M comes first. Before me, before what I want, before what I think I need. First. For probably the only time in her whole entire life to this point.
God has asked, I've accepted. I've stopped bargaining...stopped looking for a way out...but the truth is, I'm terrified of homeschooling her. Terrified of being with her all day, every day. Of having no place to escape. I'm mourning the loss of my time with my baby boys, who will need to share my attention. I'm frustrated that I'm sending my baby girl off to kindergarten when I would so much rather homeschool her than her sister. I'm sad, too, that my oldest son is going off to sixth grade, and he would love to stay home with me. I know he'll be upset that Miss M is being homeschooled and he can't be. He'll be jealous. And angry. And I'll understand completely.
But this year, Miss M comes first. Her healing comes first.
I feel like God is asking an awful lot from me. An awful lot from my other kids, as well. He must really love my daughter. When this year is over, this year of forced togetherness, I hope I can finally feel it too.
Today is the day. Now is the moment. I have to tell her.
God be with me.
To read about my struggle in making this decision, click here.