After arriving in Asheville a few weeks ago I immediately went to meet with the principals/directors of several schools in our neighborhood. Every single one of them (private, public, & charter) were full for the coming school year. Every single one. The school system is different than a typical public school system. Here the city schools are run on a Magnet program and you get in by lottery. This means that desirable schools fill up quickly and those may or may not be in your neighborhood. If you want to have control over what school your child attends, and in what neighborhood, you may be out of luck. The same goes for the charter schools and the private schools. Relocating a month before school starts and attempting to get in anywhere has been a nightmare!
I had resigned myself to homeschooling for Kindergarten and taking the time to research all of our options and apply for next year. Then while on vacation Up North (which is technically what the region is called I'm not juxtaposing to the South!) we got the call that there was an opening at the private school in our neighborhood. I was so relived I could have cried. As much as I think homeschooling can be both doable and rewarding, I was very worried about being socially isolated in a new place. This school is maybe a bit more "hippy" than I would choose for myself socially but it is perfect for Kid academically and hey that's what school is for... right?
Okay so I've been juggling all the new student paperwork and writing checks up the wazoo (it is NOT cheap) and generally stressing about Kid's first step out into the big world. And then...
Not one week after we committed to this placement and paid our fees and 2 months of tuition (and signed all the paperwork binding us to the entire year's tuition) we get word that Mr F's main freelance client is pulling out and he won't have that work anymore. You see where this is going right? If I had known that ONE week ago I would have turned down the spot. We had been counting on the freelance work for things like... oh I don't know... private school. I'd be wringing my hands right now if I still wasn't still so relieved that someone else will be teaching Kid to read and that maybe (just maybe) I'll find a friend of my own. That just might be worth 8K right?
But this is our life, this is how everything turns out. It has become almost laughable... for every up there is a down. It's hard to ever feel like we're moving forward. We felt good about being able to put extra money down on our mortgage and then, after signing all the papers, we discover that we needed all new appliances... how much did that cost?... exactly as much as the extra we put down when we closed on the house. And now with this we've gone from feeling as financially secure as we've ever been back to exactly where we started... overnight.
It's hard for me to process all this. I mean we just made a huge financial commitment (which may still be for the best) and I'm not sure how we'll make it work. We can make it work... but it will require very careful budgeting (which will be done by you know who). The upside to all this... and it is a huge upside... is that Mr F will not be working 2 jobs anymore. Mr F still has a couple of projects but for the most part our evenings will be family time... which we haven't had in 4 years (seriously). So it's not all bad, in fact I think in some ways it's better, just a bit more stressful.