Monday, August 24, 2009

First day of school - Bittersweet

The first day of school is often bittersweet for mothers. They take their little ones to school, re-live that first day of kindergarten and do their best to hold it together until their baby, who is no longer a baby, disappears into the building at which time it is finally safe to fall apart.

While I enjoy the excitement of the first day of school. I love hearing who the new teachers are, which of the kids' friends will be in their class this year, what perfect outfit will be worn for that all-important first day, it is one of my hardest days.

For those of you who don't know, I am a non-custodial mother. When we got divorced, I ran an in-home daycare. The lawyers, trying to be amicable to everyone, came up with a great idea that the children would be with me during the day and him at night and it was great for everyone. Only thing is, since they were sleeping at his house, this made him the primary guardian. So when it came time for him to move, they went with him.

I didn't choose to be without my children, I did not abandon them, I did not do anything wrong to have them taken away from me, just circumstances ended up that we can't change. Its all in God's plan and I trust Him in that. That said, that trust I have in the Father, its comforting but does not make me not miss them. Some days are still very hard. The first day of school being one of the hardest.

I don't get to walk them to school or meet their teachers. Most of the teachers won't even talk to me if I call or email. I do get awesome pictures like this one though:

That's Bubba in the back, sister on the left and their little stepsister on the right.

I am thankful for these pictures. I am thankful that my kids like to call and email me. I am thankful that my kids are only 6 hours away so I get to see them more than I did when they were 24 hours away. I am thankful that my children know me and love me and that they have a stepmother who tries her hardest to make this whole thing easier for them.

Please don't feel sorry for me, I have the comfort of One who knows my pain. I simply wanted to share my story. Maybe one day when you meet another non-custodial mom, you won't automatically assume that she did something horrible. That's not always the case, sometimes, but not always. Don't feel sorry for her, or me, don't try to understand, just be there for her to talk to, pray for her and remind her that God loves her. Maybe, just maybe, if you can handle the answer, ask her when she will see her kids again, because even if she's like me and sometimes the answer is 93 days, she will light up at the thought of seeing her children again and she will love talking about it! Have a great day and do me a favor, give your kid a great big hug when they get home from school today...

If I can pray for you today, please let me know.


Becky Dietz said...

Thanks for your openness in sharing your story!

Colleen said...

I just wanted to say that as a teacher the comment about your kids teachers not talking to you if you call or email really bothered me. I don't care if you are the primary parent or not, they should still update you. We often times send duplicate report cards to parents that aren't in the area if they want to keep up with their kids. You have a right to know how they are doing in school.

Kaci Lusk said...

I agree with you Colleen and maybe this year will be better. The school has an online report card program but the secretary told me that I would have to come to the school to sign up...kinda hard for me to do that. I even tried calling and emailing the principal last year several times, no response. I will try again this year, if that doesn't work, I will go to the school board.

Either way, most of the time my kids' stepmother emails me report card info, but that's not all I want. I want communication with the teachers, I want to know how they are doing. I need to be involved in whatever ways possible, especially when it comes to education. I will give credit to my daughter's kindergarten teacher, she was wonderful and emailed me at least once a week.

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. Thank you for what you do for children, teachers are our most valuable resource.

Kaci Lusk said...

Colleen, I just wanted to let you know that I emailed the principal again today. I guess she doesn't remember me from last year. I emailed her the divorce decree and she said that she would gladly help me be as involved as possible. The school has an online gradebook and report card program so hopefully I will be granted access to those as well.

PS I checked out your blogs...I love your 365 project!!