Pennies From Heaven's Couch Cushions
August 18, 2009
Apologies for not posting anything yesterday. And apologies for that apology, because I bet you didn't even notice and quite possibly your life continued on just fine despite my lack of posting. Regardless, I had an excuse: Terminal Brain Fog.
For example, I spent most of the day writing and rewriting the same 9-word sentence. Over and over again. Nine words and then BLAMMO, headfirst into writer's block and some weird wrastling with the Passive Voice and then some Dangling Modifiers were all, "you wanna go at it? let's go at it. bitch."
And then I spent -- no lie -- 20 solid minutes ransacking my bathroom top to bottom because I could not find my tinted moisturizer.
Here's a hint as to how THAT went:
The real problem is that right now, the Biggest Thing going on -- exactly the sort of Big Thing I've come to depend on this blog community to help me ramble through and work out and get advice on -- is also one of those Very Difficult To Write About Things, because my intentions could very easily be misunderstood. Because it's tangentially about money. Stupid, tacky money.
Basically...would you, my fellow special-needs parents or anyone who has ever loved the spit out of a special-needs kid, ever knowingly get in over your head financially to pay for something, if you thought it was the best something for your child?
Noah's OT camp is officially over now. We saw HUGE improvements in these short seven weeks. Huge, noticeable improvements. We also saw just how much work there is left to be done, and the glaring gaps in his IEP. Stuff that the school district is just not concerned about, but of course, we are. So I naturally started inquiring about supplemental services provided by the agency that ran the camp. There were, thankfully, quite a few options. We were close to settling on a Saturday morning group plus maybe some one-on-one OT -- completely disregarding the agency's preschool because it was in the afternoon, which is when we were told Noah would attend the public school.
And then on Thursday we received his official classroom assignment. Surprise! It's in the morning.
By Friday, the last day of camp, we had an observation with the private preschool set up and an application in our hands and a spot tentatively reserved -- the last spot, of course, WHAT ARE THE ODDS -- because the occupational therapists who worked with him this summer told the preschool director that Noah absolutely needed that spot, that it would be the perfect, perfect place for him. Eight kids total, half of which attend district programs in the morning, over half of the graduates from last year are moving back into the mainstream this fall. Speech therapy, occupational therapy, parent support and counseling, customized treatment plans.
By Friday night, Jason and I were absolutely sick with misery, because of the numbers. The school is expensive. I mean, of course it is. It is more than twice what we budgeted for, back when we planned to send Noah to Montessori. (Oh! Funny story! We talked to them awhile back about whether they had many kids who also attended <name of the district's special needs preschool program> and kids with SPD/SID and they were all, "Hmm? We've never heard of any of that stuff!" and we were all, "Okay, thanks, bye!")
(Is that funny? Probably more like rage-inducing. I sometimes get those two mixed up.)
I mean, we're okay. We're really, probably, more than okay. Especially when you go by the "new okay." The "recession okay." We did get nailed pretty hard this year with medical bills because our insurance company is a jackhole, and taxes because we suck at math, and a ton of house-related crap because being a grown-up is just one big endless sucking jackhole. And just when we feel like we've dug our way out and can treat ourselves to nice things like Macbooks and fancy tinted moisturizers and a hotel room for our anniversary, our dog up and eats fucking fertilizer for lunch.
(Aaaaaand this is why I mentioned "intentions." Because I seriously -- oh my God -- do not want it to sound like I'm hinting around for money. I'm not. And I know it's easy to judge someone's finances from the sidelines [u could afford to stay home with ur baybee if u stopped buying bronzer selfish whoor!]. [VARIATION: how dare u complain don't u no how blessed u are i don't even have cheekbones for bronzer selfish whooooor!] And now I'm tempted to delete this entry all together. Maybe I still will. Stay tuned, alternative publishing universe!)
(But then I think...well, what if someone out there is looking at a gigantic pile of money RIGHT THIS SECOND and wishing there was a Deserving Child to give it to, like an orphan being raised by a blacksmith, who dreams of college and betterment and Estella Havisham! Or maybe the son of a blogger, who dreams of choo-choo trains and grilled cheese and Olivia the Pig. Who am I to stand in the way of their good deed? What if, in the absence of a Deserving Child, they spend it all on hookers and grape jelly?)
(But THEN I think that the orphan is probably way more Deserving, honestly, and really, if you have a pile of money that you really don't know what to do with it's better to look for reputable charities than random orphans who can end up being totally fucking ungrateful.)
ANYWAY. We just don't know what the right choice is here. We're mostly afraid of making the WRONG choice. So we go over it again and again, and the voicemails from the school are piling up, asking if we've mailed in the application yet. If we use the last bit of money we have in our savings, plus maybe some money back from refinancing our mortgage...if we cut back on all sorts of things (hello! goodbye, Sephora!)...if we put some of it on the credit card...if we apply for financial aid... But of course, we have to commit to the school and pay deposits and half the tuition BEFORE the financial aid decision would be finalized, and then I think about our roof and the sound the garbage disposal keeps making and we need to replace the basement carpet (EDITED TO ADD: These were stupid examples. Stupid! Of course I'm not going to keep him out of the school because fucking carpet. I was trying to illustrate that there would simply be no money left for unexpected emergencies but neglected to list anything resembling an actual, you know, EMERGENCY. Sorry.) I worry we'd be spending all year a mere hair's breadth away from financial disaster. I worry about paying for a whole other year of preschool NEXT year. And then Ezra's school the year after THAT. I worry that our original, cheaper plan would really be enough and I am almost annoyed by this stupid dangling carrot.
What if? What if we do? What if we don't?