Em’s not in Australia, though one day…This is actually the entrance to our new favorite zoo. It’s in Colorado Springs. When you walk through the gate above, you are actually in the wallaby’s habitat.
Em petting a baby wallaby.
There is a great bird room, called “Budgies” or something, where you can feed them and they land on your shoulder or head, or finger or whatever.
One of our favorites since Em’s favorite color lately is aqua.
Em and her very favorite guy.
Yes, my kid is on a mushroom, but she is not on mushrooms
So, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
is very interactive. Obviously from the above photos. But, you get to actually feed giraffes, which, unless you live in Africa, isn’t something you get to do a lot in the city, or really America for that matter…
You probably aren’t supposed to ride them, either, but who could resist?
So, we went to the zoo on Monday to have a special day with Emily. We were sensing a change…You see, Jason and I have been praying a lot for Emily regarding this school year. Until two weeks ago, Emily was totally opposed to going to any school other than home school. I was great with homeschooling her because I think it’s a unique opportunity, though I do not feel it is right for everyone. Our plan was to home school Em until further notice from the Lord. Well, God has been showing Jason and me that His plan for Em, His divine design, does not include home school at this time. I fought it because there is such freedom and nurturing with home school. I started doing research on our area schools: magnets, charters, public, co-ops, private. I went to several of them to learn more about the schools, interview their principals, go on tours, and peek into classrooms. One I couldn’t even leave the parking lot to enter the offices because I had a horrible shooting/stabbing pain in my gut that would not subside until I drove out of the parking lot. Literally, the moment I hit the street, it disappeared.
Em even sat in on a couple interviews. Here’s how one played out…
Principal: “Emily, how would your friends describe you?”
Em: “I don’t know.”
Principal: “What would your friends say about you?”
Em: “I really don’t know.”
I asked Em on the way to the car why she didn’t know how her friends would describe her. She said, “Mom, my friends and I play when we are together. We don’t sit around and describe each other.” Touche.
Anyway, I was getting discouraged with the process because the schools I thought I liked had ‘no room in the inn.’ I thought, “Lord, how’s that writing on the wall
coming?! I know you have put it upon both Jason’s and my heart, so why all the closed doors?” I figured I had just heard God wrong, so I was ready to buy our upcoming year curriculum and settle into a routine with Em. Then, God prompted me to look at the school that is actually in our boundary area. I hadn’t considered it because it is a year round school track and Jason was opposed to that…originally. I took Em and we headed over for a tour. We sat with the assistant principal and shared some of our story, asked many questions, and heard her heart about the 3 different 1st grade classes and tracks. One track had plenty of room and actually could use a couple more girls, but the class that had borderline room, the AP really felt like would be a good fit for Em, having heard our story. I gathered all the paperwork and told her I would go home and pray about it and see what Em’s daddy had to say. While walking out the door, Em said, “Mom, I want to start that school tomorrow morning.” She said what I felt, but I hid it in my heart and prayed. Em and I spent the rest of the day reading, hanging in the hammock and nuggling. Jason and Em and I headed back to the school after it dismissed so Jason could meet the teacher. It was love at first sight! I’m serious! I wish I were enrolling myself! The teacher spent an hour with us, even though we showed up unannounced, answering Em’s questions and all of ours.
So, all that to say, today, Em started 1st grade a little late, thirty years after I did the same thing because of a move from Ohio to Arizona. 1978, baby! Jason and I were a little sad, though we have great peace. Jason’s going to miss her popping into his office every few minutes while he’s trying to work…And me, well, I’m not exaggerating when I say that last week my heart felt similar to the days prior to January 12, 2007. Because of the way I felt, I thought that God must be mistaken regarding sending Em to school. But, God showed me, without a pillar of fire or Gabriel the Angel, but in a more obvious way, that what He was leading us to was a specific teacher not a school. My mom reminded me that God loves Em more than I do and has a specific plan for her life…and that if I seek Him for His will for her, He will lead me as her parent.
And, as far as the year round school, we can still go to Africa next summer for a month without problems, and, whenever Em is home on extended breaks, we’ll do home school, since that is a lifestyle, not a curriculum…And, yes, I’ll probably be the PTO president one day (smiley face)
(And yes, anyone who has been here since Em went to preschool, I am wearing the exact same outfit…2 years later)