Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tough Decisions

I've been lost in thought lately and not in the mood to write. We are facing some tough decisions and no resolution is in sight. It is pretty much all my fault. I had a brilliant idea to move to this Hippietown 2 years. Dave took a new, commission-based job. It's a better job than he had before, for a better company. We love to town we live in and the kids are happy in the better school down here. I was not going to have to work, which made me happier.

And then the full extent of the economic situation became apparent. This city has a 15% unemployment rate. The state is hovering around 11%. People aren't eating out, and Dave can't sell his customers what he expected he could when he took the job here. We got killed selling our house up in the Land Of Microsoft and can't buy a new house down here. My brilliant idea is not looking so good anymore.

So now what? I can't find a job that I can work with the hours I had in Seattle. Everything closes earlier here and the few jobs that would work are taken and in high demand by the plethora of college students who have better availability. So do I give up looking (it's been 6 months) and take a day job, possibly something in my field even!, and put my sensitive, difficult preschooler in day care? Tate "doesn't like being a little kid because he doesn't like other kids". He dropped out of Kindergarten 2 months ago. Would he adjust to daycare or get kicked out for hitting, biting and being obstinate?

Do we take the kids out of private school for a while? Taking them out for the rest of the rest of the year would pay off the car and then some. But they'd miss their friends, get behind in their lessons in the subjects I can't teach (like Spanish, flute, violin) and they'd be devastated to miss their class Spring camping trips and the class plays and assemblies.

Do I take them out of private school forever? We'd be rich then. But the kids would be in public school and loose so many classes I find vitally important: eurthymy (creative movement), handwork, Spanish, flute, stringed instruments, games, gardening, painting, form drawing, etc. And they'd start listening to Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers or something equally awful. What would public school do to Julia who is surely ADD but thriving in her small, cohesive class with a fabulously gifted teacher? And what would Maisie do to public school? She's the sort who just needs a lot. Space to escape from crowds, empathy for her stubborn refusal when she has to really try hard to learn something, a teacher who understands the serious problem cross contamination of gluten is for her.

Do we move out of this wonderful, big house and into an apartment or smaller, crappier house? Could we find some other place that we could afford that would even let us bring our 3 cats, a 100 gallon aquarium, 2 rabbit hutches and a box of pet snails?

What is more of a priority, this house we love and want to buy or the private school we love and whose community makes up 99% of our friends in this town?

I have no idea. For now, Dave is on the road trying to track down some new business and I'm scrimping, saving, cutting back, reading coupon blogs and grocery circulars, clipping coupons, googling for sales and trying to channel my thrifty Scottish ancestors for some guidance. The economy has to get better sometime, right?


  1. We are going through similar changes and decisions. For us, leaving private school has been a life saver. I'm homeschooling now, and while scared, I know it will end up being a great thing.

  2. Whoops, I'm totally behind on your blog. :(

    I vote for keeping the Waldorf school, because it's clearly an awesome fit your kids! I also really hate the idea of Julia finding some little Suzanne Cash-like brat in her public school class.

    Maybe Eugene Waldorf should hire you to run an all-outdoor kindergarten like the one that was in the New York Times. Bonus: you could totally sneak some science in there, and thus would not have to hear Mom complain about that anymore.