I never anticipated that I would send my child anywhere during the day away from me. I "retired" from public school teaching to be a stay-at-home-mom (despite the financial hardship) because I felt so strongly about being home raising my child and being the main figure in her life. My husband and I have very strong, conservative values, and I do believe that for our family, it is best for me to be home.
But being here in Panama has put a little different spin on things. Anna and I don't have the opportunity to go the park, meet others for play-dates, or go do fun activities together like we would if we were in the States. We have no car, and the rainy season puts us in the house most of the year. We live in a little cement house, and most days, Anna is bouncing off the walls. In the past year, she has become such a social, animated and lively little girl with an undeniable personality all her own.
When this little school opened up 4 houses down from us, I gave it little thought. But after talking with my mom (who always has the pearls of wisdom!) I realized that this would be a great chance for Anna to get a change of scenery and have the opportunity to play with other kids, different toys, and learn outside of our little house. After giving it some prayer and thought, we decided to go for it.
It is now the third day of school, and we are so pleased with our decision. It is only 3 hours in the morning, so I still feel like we have most of the day together. The teachers, who thankfully speak english, are so impressed by the ease at which she has taken to the school and the other kids. We have also requested that they only speak to her in spanish, and they say that she seems to understand basic directions.
I have so far enjoyed having the time alone. I have had longer times with the Lord each morning, cleaned and refreshed myself. Her pick-up time is 11am, and by about 10:30 I'm just twiddling my thumbs waiting to go get her! Yesterday I couldn't stand it and I went a few minutes early :)
I have such peace with this situation, and am so incredibly thankful that the Lord has given both of us this opportunity. I can tell Anna is having a blast, and I am getting to slow down a bit... which I need so desperately right now as I'm still in the throngs of morning sickness (that lasts all day!)
So... yay for school!