I made a very adult decision today. One that I had been contemplating for several weeks.
It was with a very heavy heart that I pulled Riley out of Religious School.
It's rare that I don't follow through with my commitments. In fact, I just don't obligate myself or my kids to activities and events that we know we can't attend. So why I agreed to enroll Riley into Hebrew School when I knew I didn't think it was going to work out from the very beginning is truly beyond me.
When we moved to the Orange County area, it was with the understanding that we'd join the same Synagogue as our cousins so the kids could all go to camp and Religious and Hebrew School together. Sure, it's a solid twenty five minute drive without any traffic, but what's a little distance to have the kids experiencing Judaism together, right? Or so I thought.
While I made this hour round trip, twice a day, every day, for four weeks this summer, I didn't put much thought into what it would be like on the weekdays for Riley when she started Hebrew School. I didn't have a plan for Sheridan and Grady as we waited the two and a half hours for Riley during her class. I certainly wasn't prepared for the class to end at 6:30 pm, and the struggle to get everyone home, fed, showered, homeworked, read, and in bed at a reasonable hour. Especially when, dare I admit it, Grady is in bed around 6:30 pm and the girls follow suit by 7:30 pm. At this rate on Tuesdays, nobody would be in bed before 8:30 pm ... maybe 9 pm.
I had been dreading Tuesdays as soon as school began. I stressed about the traffic. I worried about getting home way past the dog's dinnertime. I began sweating about how cranky the kids would be the next morning. As difficult as it was, I, ruler of the anal retentive universe, finally accepted that I needed to maintain this family's sanity.
Late this afternoon I spoke with the director of the Religious programs at our Synagogue and explained my familial situation. I disclosed our background. Our future direction. I mentioned the girls lack of Religious education, and their desire to "get their Jew on." I apologized (though I'm not sure why) ... for being honest about placing my sanity above my daughter's Hebrew School education.
You know what he said? He got it. Not only did he completely understand, but he told me that he thought I was making the right decision. The best decision. He supported it. And he would immediately refund me the tuition for the year. Which, even though it totally wasn't about the money, is an added benefit.
This wasn't a decision that was made lightly. Nor is it one that I'm sure will be accepted by all. But I don't care. I can't care. When someone starts walking in my shoes ... with their spouse gone for a year, schlepping here, there, and yonder, living in a rented house with somebody else's things and leading a 'temporary life' ... well, then they can judge me.
Until then, I'm pretty darn proud that I took care of myself while making a controversial decision. I know I'm doing the best I can...
And speaking of those who are proud of themselves ... this little one seems pretty sure of herself today too. Can't say the apple fell to far from the tree. *ahem*