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Entries in Decisions (1)


Road signs


When I imagined life as a mother, I don’t think I understood the gravity of being the one making all of the significant decisions.  There are these moments we experience as parents when we seem to be living in some kind of Robert Frost inspired universe, standing at the fork in the road and trying to discern which path is best. 

We squint into the darkness, the haze and the fog, trying to force a vision of the future into being, searching for signs about which path is right.  Or which is wrong.  And the haze is hazier, the fog thicker, the light dimmer because the one bearing the weight of the consequences of these decisions is not ourselves, but the little people standing beside us on the road, clinging to our pant legs and asking pesky questions like: Where are we going now? What’s going to happen? Why? Should I be afraid?

Maybe what we are looking for as we peer out toward the future are road signs.  DO NOT ENTER would be helpful. WRONG WAY. CLEARLY THIS IS THE BEST CHOICE. There are no such signs for us.

As crazy as it seems, many of us are making decisions right now, in February, for school placement next fall.  For our family, the decisions this year are pedestrian compared to the weighty choices we faced at this time last year. 

A year ago we were debating the possibility of waiting a year to begin kindergarten despite WJ’s chronological age.  He would turn five before the cut-off date at our school and would qualify to enter kindergarten.  But the teachers and school director and even we, his parents, had questions about whether or not WJ was ready. 

I have been working this year to document the effects of our decision, which ultimately was to wait.  But many have asked that pesky question, Why?  Why did we decide to wait for kindergarten?  I would like to unpack that a little in the next few weeks.  The reasons were manifold and complicated.

But for now, I am wondering, what have been the toughest decisions you have been faced with on behalf of another?  How do you decide which road to travel?