Pennies From Heaven's Couch Cushions
The Rise & Fall of the Boob Civilization

Hat Trick

He was wearing a hat.

I didn't recognize him at first. He doesn't wear hats, you see. We have one winter hat that he will wear without excessive protest -- a stupidly expensive handmade-in-Peru tiger hat that he picked out himself two years ago at Whole Foods, and I was so gobsmacked at the sight of my child willingly wearing a hat that I bought it despite blanching at the price tag and the thought of the two dozen comparable hats we already owned.

So I was gobsmacked again, because of a hat. A handmade sun visor, covered in stickers.

"He's wearing a hat." I said, stupidly, to one of the camp's many grad student volunteers.

"Isn't it so cute?" she gushed. "He was a little worried about the glue at first, but then he was fine!"

I stared at her and blinked. "You mean he actually made it? Himself?"

She stared back. "Yes?"

"His preschool teacher used to do his art projects for him. For awhile, anyway. After Christmas she stopped pretending. And he doesn't wear hats."

"Well," she said, thinking hard, "he still really doesn't like glitter."

Then she chased after him for one last big bear hug. "I'll miss you, Noah," I heard her murmur. "Thank you for letting me play with you."

She came back to my side and took a deep breath. "I'll be back next summer. I love this place."


The word was out at camp: they all knew we were considering applying to The Preschool. I listened to them talk up the Saturday group to another mother before it was my turn.

It will be perfect. He's a perfect fit. This, plus the district morning program? Oh my God, it will be perfect. I talked to the director myself. Perfect. Perfect.

Stop saying that, I thought, but did not say.

I stammered that we were still only considering it, that we only found out the day before that it was even an option, and that we still weren't sure, given the cost and the fact that Noah would be in school ALL DAY, EVERY DAY.

"He still takes a nap," I explained. "I'm worried it's going to be too much for him. His behavior really disintegrates when he gets worn out. We won't have time for playdates, for his typical friends."

What followed was an earnest -- if slightly predictable -- speech about the importance of early intervention, about this critical age and stage and how we just need to wallop him with therapy and structure and a rich sensory diet and nip it in the bud now to save ourselves years of costly tuition later.

"Most kids there do both programs and are just fine," said one of the camp OTs. The other one nodded.

Oh, you did not just say "MOST KIDS," I thought. Oh, no you did NOT.

"At the minimum, we'll do the Saturday group," I said, sort of hoping they'd lay off a bit if they knew we were planning to pay them money anyway. "Plus some one-on-one therapy."

"You should really do The Preschool," they both agreed.

Both of them work for the Outpatient Division, by the way. As in, they do not ever set foot in The Preschool.


Last night I crept into Noah's room and sat on his bed, watching him sleep, curled up with his favorite stuffed toy. I pushed his summer shaggy hair across his forehead and made a mental note to get him a haircut before the back-to-school madness this year. And shoes. Crap, he needs closed-toe shoes. Last year we waited too long and nobody had his size. I think his jacket will still fit, and some of his pants. We can layer longer t-shirts under some of the 3T long-sleeved shirts from last year, if his belly shows, since they still look practically brand-new. I smiled a little. One of the benefits of a cautious, mess-hating little boy: He is extremely easy on clothing.

That circled me back to the topic at hand. My chest and stomach twisted in anxiety while I replayed the day's comments and emails -- the good, the bad, the contradictory. The happy stories from parents who did, the sad ones from parents who didn't. The overwhelming use of the word regret. Would we regret not sending him? Should we send him simply because we're afraid of regretting something?  I felt the familiar sense of indignation that I get when something I write is misunderstood, even by a very few people, even when it was completely the fault of imprecise writing. A decent roof and working garbage disposal and non-dog-pee-stained carpet ARE important, I bratted, if you have to put your house on the market in the hurry and hope to get full price.

I finally stopped the futile process of trying to compose the perfect comment that would explain everything to an invisible audience of strangers and stared hard at Noah, trying to will the right answer into existence. I pulled him into my arms and held him as tightly as I dared, as if his neural pathways would communicate with me. This! This is what we need! Give it to us!

When that didn't work, I prayed. Then I went to bed and shook Jason awake.

"Quick. What does your gut say?"

He knew exactly what I was talking about. "I don't know. I go back and forth. You?"

I thought for a second. "I think we're getting the hard sell. I think they smelled the blood of nervous parents in the water, and I don't like it."

He nodded. I went on.

"But I still think we should send him."


And so we will.

He was, after all, wearing a hat.


PS. The PayPal button is staying down. I admit I was a little tempted to put it up again, but Jason feels very strongly Thank you, so much, those of you who offered to help. There are others who need that help more. For us, the offer is enough.



He wore a hat.

Good for him & good for you.

Let me know when you need help planning his post-prom party at your house. The one where he brings all his friends & his date over and they wear tuxes they don't really fit into, and they complain that his too-young-for-prom younger brother keeps sneaking into the tv room to hang out with them. You'll need someone to hand out the Chex-Mix & heat up the pizza while you wonder how your hat-wearing little guy grew into such a handsome young man who is doing oh-so-well.


I think you made a good decision. But you know what? If you had made the opposite decision, I would think the same thing, because you guys know Noah best. Any decision you make for him is mostly likely going to work out well - and this clearly wasn't a cavalier decision - because you always try to do what's right for him. Sure, hindsight is great for beating yourself up and all, but as parents all we can do is make the best decision we can with the information we have now, and not dwell (too much) on the might-have-beens. Hope his year is a good one!

Parsing Nonsense

That hat? Is fetch.

It does sound like they smelled blood in the water, and shame on them for putting a heaping mass of steaming hot guilt on your shoulders! The phantom of regret is sometimes worse than the regret itself.

I'm glad you've made a decision you're happy with, though. You guys will figure it out, you're two very intelligent, loving, sensible parents and you're going to do great.


Yea for hats! And yea for having finally made a decision. Now on to the shoe shopping and haircut getting!


He looks beautiful in his hat. That he made.


Big decision. It'll cost you, but I doubt you'll regret it. My kids are only 10.5 months apart, and I stay home with them. I was going out of my mind that first year, and around the time my 2nd was 8 months old, my partner finally convinced me to get a mother's helper. We had her 3 hours a day, 5 days a week for a number of months. It cost us $200 a week, and yes we ended up in (substantial) debt because of it. But we both still feel it was money well spent. I think you'll feel the same way, even if your financial picture takes a big hit. Best of luck!


Oh gosh, I'm literally teary eyed right now. I love that you went with you gut. I also love Noah.


Hopefully you'll find out you qualify for gobs of financial aid AND Noah will do fantastically in his new circumstances. We're all cheering for you and him, even if sometimes people on teh intarweb don't understand how the world looks through your eyes.


I'm crying. I'm proud of you. Right or wrong, you are doing what you believe is best...and that makes you a wonderful mom. I pray that the negative voices out there shut-the-hell-up and that you and Jason have peace with your decision. God bless our little boys and may this year be Noah's year to shine. Hat and all.


Good luck and God bless. Seriously. What a tough position to be in. Makes you wish for an accurate magic 8 ball.

To me, the regret question is legitimate. It's worth an awful lot of debt and poverty not to have to look back and wonder "if". At least it sounds like this way you'll know you gave it everything you had.


You are such a good momma.

The Tutugirl

I'm so happy for y'all. You've made a decision. Sure, figuring out the finances and the scheduling and whatever else is going to be stressful. But you have something to look forward to that gives you hope.


You should put on a hat, too. A big, ole Sunday-best hat that people wear to celebrate AWESOME STUFF.

What a wonderful Momma you are.


You will never regret giving your child all that you can.


Amy, I just loved your writing in this entry. And THE HAT! I've got tears of joy for you. How funny that he wasn't into the glitter - not a bad thing for a boy to not be into. The sorts of questions that you and Jason have worked through are some of the toughest around. I can feel the same pull in my stomach - do we or don't we - and it's so hard to decide. I do think that you'll be happy with your decision and Noah will benefit greatly from it. We'll give our children the sun, the moon and the stars. This post makes me think we need to include more hats, too!


Go Noah! I love the hat. I can't pull such daring fashion choices off.

Am glad you made a decision. Just any decision. That you're happy with. None of us know the right answer, even with all our input and whatnot.

And maybe he'll love school all day. And maybe he won't. Who knows. Whichever he chooses though, thousands of kids have chosen before. I cried every day for a month when I had to stay in first grade the whole day.


Not such a big fan of glitter myself. It's so... glittery.

Love the hat!

Sprite's Keeper

Good for you! Sometimes the offer is all that's needed.
Good luck to Noah and here's to more hats!


So glad you came to a decision for your own sanity's sake. It's the right one because you're trying to do what's best for your boy. Whatever you decided would've been right.

And it's only one year. It's not a lifetime enrollment. If it doesn't turn out to be what they promised, you can move on.

I share the same sentiments expressed by She Likes Purple yesterday. It's money. You can make more. You can't make Noah 3 years old again.

Your feelings about the paypal button are understandable. Although I totally would've chipped in, just for the hat.

Here's to a whole school year of hats and projects, new friends and (more) meltdown free trips to the playground.


You are doing a fantastic job. Noah is so lucky to have you. It is a lovely hat, really. Go give him a giant hug, okay?


Good luck with your decision. I clicked on all of your ad links in hopes that it will send a few more pennies your way.


WEEPING. You just made me weep.


I love the hat!

My wish for you is that all the rest of the financial stuff works itself out. You're doing what you think is right for Noah, so let's go Universe, pave the way, make it easy!


It's funny how your gut can be wrenched with worry when you're unsure of your trust in it, and then feel all warm and fuzzy when you finally give into what you know has been the RIGHT thing to do all along. Guts are good.

Muffin tops...not so much.


Good job, Buddy! Great looking hat!!


So tough to make those decisions! And if you put the button up while I know I couldn't give much I know I would give - because look at that face!!! And that hat!!!


I did read many, mnay comments yesterday - which I rarely do. And there were a lot of good points. As for the carpet, roof and disposal any one of us would think "I've got to fix that" until something else comes along. Did I think for one minute you'd sacrifice Noah for a carpet? Absolutely not. I looked at it like you were just talking outloud to yourself. But I also didn't realize just how expensive his preschool would be. Twice what you budgeted? That's a lot. Then I felt bad for encouraging you to do something you really weren't comfortable with financially - and for legitimate reasons. After 4 years of reading this site, the one thing I have learned, above all else, is that you (& Jason) consistently make the best choices for your family. Twittering about money problems? Who doesn't have money problems now and then? But you do it in a tongue-and-cheek way that makes me laugh, not pity you and your hardships. (Sorry if that was what you were actually going for!) My point is...well, I have no point. You have decided to send Noah. And in doing so you and Jason must have come to the conclusion that it is the right choice. And, really, you'll never know if it is unless you try. And if it's not good, you can pull him out or change days (hopefully). I hate living with angst and hope you aren't anymore.


My God, you are an amazing writer. And, I think you guys are doing the right thing.


Beautifully written. Just beautiful.


I hope you keep that picture on your desktop, fridge, countertop, somewhere where you see it all day every day to remind you what a great decision you have made. Maybe put one near the mail slot, so when the credit card bills come in 2 inches thick, you'll remember why you made your decision.

Good luck to Noah!


ok, you won't do paypal, but you should go to the Montgomery County Parents of Multiples Consignment sale. great bargains, mostly gently used. google it.


Awesome hat, awesome boy ;) I'm sorry I was one of the ones who misconstrued the carpet/disposal angle - but I still really believe you won't ever regret sending Noah to this school despite the financial burden. Maybe this situation *is* the emergency you set aside savings for.


I would never be bothered by the existence of a paypal link, and I would likely even click on it if yours was still up, but I have to say I admire that you're leaving it down and telling people that the offer is enough. I don't know if I'd have that strenght-of-character if I were faced with tall bills to give my baby what he needs.

If people are really wanting to help I bet you/they could find projects at that help special needs classrooms/schools.


I'm so happy for Noah, that he's found a place that has helped him so much already. You will find a way to make it work financially. And if you do end up deciding to put the Paypal button up? I will dig up a few crumpled bills to send to you. Because the fact that there are blacksmith orphans out there doesn't make Noah any less deserving of the help he needs. And I think there are a lot of us that have been reading about Noah and watching him grow up from a distance for a long time, and if one of my IRL friends' children needed a service they couldn't afford, I would help them out if I could, in a heartbeat. And I don't see how this is any different.

Good luck to all of you and I hope you're at least feeling some relief over having made the decision!


Reading your blog always makes me think that there are good bits to having kids, but reaffirms my belief that I do not want kids. Thank you for yet another few strings of posts that do that: kids are adorable, but they are not for me.


The money doesn't matter. Noah matters. In the great words of Grandpa Joe, "There will always be money. They print more everyday."

You do what you have to do for your children no matter the cost. You've seen for yourself the difference this camp has made for the whole family. Why stop now?


Bravo Amy. I hope you didn't misunderstand my own imprecise writing yesterday about working - I know you work now....I meant maybe working more, or in a different environment out of the home to bring in more money. I feel quite badly that people thought I didn't value what you do know, when it was really jsut trying to post a comment too quickly. I wish people would give others the benefit of the doubt. In any case, and most importantly, it was just a thought to consider among many, and I wasn't trying to say you had to do a darn thing I suggest. Bravo again. You are a great mom.

Miss Britt

And he looks so good in that hat.


That hat is a sign of awesome.

And Noah is such a handsome boy. And lucky to have parents like you and Jason to look out for his best interests.


long time reader, first time commenter. Can you configure your posts in google reader so I have to come here to read them? That would remind me to click on all your ads more often.

Congrats on making a decision. A mother's instinct is never wrong.


I'm crying about the is a beautiful perfect hat and it looks precious on him. Make sure to stash that hat away, save it in his box of memories.

I'm glad you came to a decision. Either way, it would have been right, but I'm glad he's going. (((HUGS)))


Gut check ALWAYS wins --- even when it is counter-intuitive. If you had said no --- it would have been because it was the hard sell and they weren't looking out for Noah (most kids INDEED), but since you decided yes ... Oh, I'm just proud of you. I'm sure it will be right, no matter what happens. Someday, subtle-like, sneak the PayPal button back up. We'll respond, and it won't feel like charity. It ISN'T charity --- it's paying you because you entertain us, more regularly than even movies or TV shows. I didn't think to say it yesterday, but hell yeah, we'd chip in --- cause you always make my slow workdays a bit faster.


at the absence of a paypal button i went ahead and clicked on every ad on your page at least 2 times. good luck. as i like to put it, "you will never regret doing something and having nothing be wrong... but you would definitely regret doing nothing and having something be wrong."


You are amazing. I've been reading for a while, but this is the first entry that made me cry. I'm not a mother, but if I ever am one... I hope I'm half the mom you are.

I hope only the best for Noah, and for you.


Man that kid gets handsom-er (uh?) every picutre you put up. Also, if ive learned anything about parenting, its that no decision we ever make is without guilt, its just what we do to ourselves. And i think when we sense other people agonizing about decisions we try to give them all the high points not in an effort to make the decsion harder and heap more guilt but hopefully to make it easier. It sounds like that what the OT people were going for. Youre a great mom with a beautiful family.


Is it absolutely crazy that tears are streaming down my face right now?


Well done you and Noah!


I almost cried. And then I read Daisy's post and I could see it and I definitely cried.
Good for you.


It can be harder to see from two feet, but from however many hundreds and thousands of feet away I am, I am awed by Noah's growth! He is doing amazing. I hope it keeps going so well.

bethany actually

Oh, please accept my apology if anything I said made your decision harder! Like anything a total stranger could say would have anything more than an infinitesimal impact on such a decision, but you know what I mean. I hate thinking that maybe I misunderstood you and unknowingly hurt you in some way.

In the end, you and Jason are Noah's parents and you love him fiercely and only want what is best for him. That ALONE is giving him a huge, unfathomable advantage in the world. He will be all right. You will be all right. Whatever you decide, however preschool works out or doesn't work out, you will know you did the best you could.

We all do love you guys, in that unique bloggy way. :-) I'll be praying for you, too. And congratulations to Noah for wearing a hat!


For what it's worth, either way you would have done the right thing. And either way you'll probably have regrets. At those junctions in life, I try to remember that a life with no regrets is a life with no taking chances, a life afraid and somewhat hemmed in.

And right now? I am regretting reading your post while at work on a day when I didn't wear waterproof mascara and have to run the PTA membership drive at the open house for my son with Down syndrome. Thank God for Kleenex...


My only thought when you have been writing about this, is I hope that this year is easy on YOU, my heart broke repeatedly for what YOU had to go through with that other school. Not that I don't think about Noah, but I know you are looking out for him and that it will be fine.

I hope this school year gives you back some of the hope you lost last year. And since he is now wearing a hat I think that it definetly will.

p.s. yesterday I totally thought from the picture that it was going to be another deodorant war and waited to read the post until I got home because I didn't want everyone in my office asking what I was laughing at. :)

Jen L.

I know I've said it before, but thank you so much for sharing your story and your heart with us. I'm so proud of Noah's hat I'm crying. Good going, Noah. And good for you for following your gut.

Mama Bub

I'm following this as closely as if it were my own child. You can always decide to un-send him if things aren't going your way, right? If it's too much for you or for him, but if it feels right now, it's probably right. I can't help but think, that every time I come here, I'm absorbing some awesome parenting by osmosis.


Please put your PalPal link back up. I have been entertained by this blog for years. And I have paid considerably more for quite a bit less. I would not consider a payment to PP charity, but rather like a community show where you "pay what you can" or make a "suggested donation."


Can I suggest that maaaybe just maaaaybe these people didn't smell blood in the water, but instead really firmly believe in their program and have seen the improvement in Noah (and other children) that come from their program and the Preschool. It's possible they were so adamant because like you they really think Noah could blossom in this environment. Of course they want to fill their spots, but it sounds like these folks really care about the children and priceless.

Good luck! I can't wait to hear how well he's doing in Preschool!


I clicked all your ad links, twice. Paypal shmay-pal


Oh, I'm crying.

I totally know those nights when you go into their rooms and hold them and just think about stuff ... Bittersweet, those moments.

It's all bittersweet, isn't it?

ms martyr

I missed the Paypal button! SOAB!
I can see that my computer is going to have to be set to all Amalah all the time so I don't miss anything.


It's like the hat is a sign!

I think mommy-gut trumps all, so that alone tells me you did the right thing. Aside from that, sending him won't possibly do him any harm- only good can come out of that, right? So there you go. I get the significance of the hat- I really do. A hat he made? Brilliant!


I'm praying for your family.


Hmm, *I* made the comment about the roof, and I think your context is misleading. A TREE fell on our house. As in, a gaping hole that rain and animals and other things can fall through. That's much different than "a decent roof" or new carpet.

My point was that the unexpected happens, and it happened to us just this week, and by the grace of God alone we have the money to pay to have it repaired. It was a note of caution to you...the unexpected happens and if you drain everything where will the money come from if it happens to YOU?


You never explained why a pre-school OT program versus 1-on-1 OT would be better? Without the specifics I feel like I shouldn't have commented yesterday about the importance of early intervention, yada yada yada. It's difficult in the DC area (or probably any metropolitan area) if these providers are genuine about the help they can provide or simply out to cash in on over-anxious parents with disposable incomes. I've personally been down this road with vision therapy for my son. Best of luck Amalah, but you will never regret giving Noah every chance of success.


Wonderful post, big tears. The picture of you sitting on his bed ruffling his hair, mentally cataloging his wardrobe - wow. You made the right decision. I know you don't need Random Commenter 55 to tell you that, but I hope it feels good to see it anyway, because I mean it and I believe it and I want you to feel really, really good about your decision. Your tiger devotion to Noah makes me a better mom. I had a snap decision moment earlier this week - about 15 seconds to make a commitment that would affect my daughter all school year (pre-K year no less - it's a big year!) and I had a fleeting thought of "What would Amalah do?" And I went with my gut and I'm very happy with the outcome. So is my daughter. So thanks for popping into my head every now and then when it counts. :-) And I'll be just about ready to retire in 2029- I'll put in a good word for Noah for my job.


Who knew a hat would be the deciding factor?

The PayPal button is still an option...will always be an option for us - the ones whose names and problems and lives you don't know - we will all help if and when we can.

Thanks for all the laughter, tears, and introspection, Storch family! :o)

atheists eat fish

We are going to be having our first child in college two years from now and another one two years after that. We are already worrying about how to finance it. I am also going to college but will be done in a year. It is crazy expensive. However, one of my professors noted that she paid more for her child to be in preschool than we were paying for college (I go to a Cal State University school). The schools that Noah needs must be very expensive indeed. Are there scholarships available? There must be some kind of help because I don't know how anyone can afford that. I wish you the best of luck.


Aw Amy. He's so worth it :)
(Obviously you know this...but just letting you know that I think so too. And I admire your decision to keep the button down, because yeah, there are people who need it more than you and I am glad you recognize that. You're good people.)


Going to click on your ad links now ;) Glad you came to a decision...I know it will be the right one for Noah. Will be SO hoping the money part just...falls into place somehow.


Tears and best wishes for all of you. It's going to be an exciting year.


Brave. That's what you are. To share Noah's journey with us, to share your fears about school and worries over money. You sharing your story has made my own journey in motherhood more rich, from being grateful for what I have to embracing the craziness more often. Thank you for sharing-it really does make me smile when I see that there's a new post from you.


I was glad to read that I wasn't the only one with tears in her eyes, because I'm still not sure exactly why.

Anyway, I have a little experience with places like this and one thing I'd like to share is that I don't think you are getting the hard sell for any sort of financial reason.

The really, really good places don't have to sell spaces because reputation precedes them and they usually have people waiting on a list to throw money at them.

If you were getting any kind of hard sell, it was probably because they saw in Noah a kid who they truly feel would benefit and one who they loved being around.


Good luck. Can you pull him out if it just gets to be too much? Or are you financially committed for a semester/year? Also, maybe you could just not send him to the morning program if you get better results with the afternoon one. All options I'm sure you've considered -- but just throwing them out there on the rare chance you haven't.


Try to get him shoes. It's not cheaper, but they always have lots of styles and sizes. Shipping costs are built in and you can order a bunch of pairs, try them on at home, and then you have a year to return what you don't want. This has nothing to do with the big choices in your life right now, but I have found it really takes the stress out of shoe shopping for my boys.


I am weeping at your fabulously raw writing. Thanks for letting us in on your journey. If that Paypal button ever needs to go up, don't sweat it too much. There is a whole world out here breathing those hard sighs along with you. We love you and your (adorable hat wearing) sons.

She Likes Purple

He looks so much like Jason in that picture. We're all cheering you and Noah on with everything we have.


I started reading your blog just before I had my first baby in April. I now read it EVERY day, and I feel like I've gotten to know you and your family (it's crazy, this world of internets). Anyway, your struggle with how to do best by your family in a world that is just not black and white, but rather really intricate shades of grey, inspires me to no end. Anyone that believes that this decision should be black or white is a sucker...and they are probably not as good a parent as you are. Check this one off your list of worry now (you know, the one that sends your heart racing at 2 a.m.) You've made a great decision, and I cannot wait to see what an awesome little man Noah turns out to be...make sure you keep posting pictures until he's old enough to post them himself :)

Corie Jones

First comment - I've been reading for a while. IMO (for what it's worth - which really, is nothing) you're making the right choice. I had a feeling this was the choice you'd make. I'm glad for you that you did.

He wears a home-made hat. It's a sign.



I've written you before about how similar our boys are. So I wanted to tell you how it's working out for us doing something similar. You know that feeling you had when you saw him in the hat? You know how much they adored him at the camp? You know that nasty little ball of anxiety that is no longer in your gut at pick up time? You know how great all of that feels for him and you? That's what your investing in. Spending money sucks,'ll never get back these years of his AND YOUR lives. I just know I'm so glad I don't go through the sucky feeling at pick up anymore. No more of the teachers judgy little stares, Gary not seeming quite happy.

Ashley Fitting

Ok, first and foremost, as someone who has followed you for a while (blog stalker that I am) I want to give big internet hugs. Whatever decision you guys chose to make was going to be the right one... but it sounds like this will at least give you some more concrete results (a HAT FOR PETES SAKE!!) after what has been a pretty intense year.

Also, in all the time that I've read your blog... your writing has always been good... but blog-y :-) but awesome for a blog (duh). This post is amazing Amy - write a book... a WHOLE book, not just one that uses you as a blogger but as an AUTHOR... you could totally do it :-) It was poignant and well written and I think tugged at the heart strings of everyone who read it...

Sending Much Love From the Internet...


I'm going to click on all of the ads on your site right now. Hope it helps in a small way :)


How sweet he is in that hat.

You love Noah. No matter what - whether he goes to that school or not - he'll be okay because you and Jason are taking care of him. You're such a good mom and Noah is so absolutely precious.

I hope he makes great strides in this coming year. And that the financial difficulty of sending him will cause will work itself out somehow. (Financial aid?!?)

The nap thing is tough. Sleep is so important for kids. Maybe he'd go to bed an hour earlier if he was really wiped out by the day? That also means less time with you overall, which is also tough. Is there an option to send him some days but not everyday?


I agree--your decision is probably in Noah's best interest. Now, if it doesn't work out with The Preschool after the first year, could Noah go back to the program you had initially "designed" for him?

Also: Scary stuff, that money situation--does the company Jason works for have any kind of assistance programs/ scholarships that Noah could qualify for?


hello! long time reader, first time commenter. this post was so inspirational. and truly shines a light on the tough choices we have to make as parents.

my 5-year old nephew was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder and then autism a few years ago. and it has been so heartbreaking to watch my sister-in-law struggle with finding the best possible therapy for her son, especially under strict financial constraints.

but, like you said, he wore a hat. so, you do what you have to do because you're his mom. and you know your child better than anyone else and you know what's best for him. i'm thrilled that you finally found a program that lets noah shine!


Amy, you made the right decision, because whether he "needs" the extra help or not, it certainly won't hurt him. I mean, really, what 4 year old WOULDN'T benefit from that kind of setting? And I come to that from the place of getting my little guy ready for his post-early intervention preschool evaluation through the school district in a few more months. I figure even if I don't think he really NEEDS all that extra help, he certainly woulnd't be harmed by it!

Good luck to all of you. Noah's hat is darling.


Oh, Amy. My heart is constricting here.

I love how you love him.


Ugh (sigh) - I was one of the people that used "regret" in my comment - as if I have a clue of what you are going through - I'm sorry for that. I just...want you all to be happy and everything to be ok, is all.

The Other Laura

I couldn't even read comments from your last post for fear that people were going to snark out on you.

I am sure that you and Jason will make the best decisions for Noah because nobody knows him like you do.

And hooray for hats!


This is a beautiful post. Very happy for you. :)


I'm always a big fan of asking the gut. Regardless...I LOVE the hat and everything it means. Good job Noah :)


Also, great idea to click some ads :)


i do the same with my son when he's sleeping.

i watch him sleep, scoop him up, and and pray that i give him everything necessary to reach his full potential.

you're a wonderful mother and noah will thrive. i can't wait to watch this year unfold before our eyes!


I so wish I'd read your post yesterday, but I'm glad I'm here today. I sincerely hoped only my husband and I were by ourselves in having to make a decision similar to this. I hate that I'm wrong. I am right there with you. You have no idea. But what you do for your kids' benefit is all that matters.


You've made the right decision and you know it. You should put the pay pal button up. If I can help send Chris' kids to Florida, I can help Noah.


Having a stable environment is as important as a great school.

I would have had a very hard time but like you would have decided exactly the same way as you did, just figured it out through my gut.

Good luck. Things work out..and this all will too.


I'm glad you had enough of a gut feel to make a decision. There are so many times when you just have to make a decision and wonder, because there wasn't enough to go on.

Anyhow. Here's hoping the carpet and disposal fall into place easily. Also, sorry to hear about the chalk. :P


If you do reconsider the PayPal option, you don't even need to announce it, just stick it there on the sidebar and readers like me, who don't know you IRL (different sides of the river....), but who want to support you and have some extra pennies every once in a while to do something nice, can help out.

In a sense, its paying you back for all the entertainment that you and your family provide us - a way for us to say thank you.


Sending you lots of virtual support as you navigate these difficulties of parenthood.... our children are so awesome and so heartbreaking and so wonderful. Your love for both of your children is beautiful. <3


Sending you lots of virtual support as you navigate these difficulties of parenthood.... our children are so awesome and so heartbreaking and so wonderful. Your love for both of your children is beautiful. <3

Backpacking Dad

Is there a HugPal button?


Mir - I was not referring to your comment, at all. Really. A few people misread my (poorly chosen) list of worries as things I was thinking of putting AHEAD of Noah, as in "I don't want to send him to this school because my roof/disposal/carpet is more important." I was trying to illustrate the point your comment made (what IF the unexpected happens and we don't have $ for it, i.e. selling the house, flooded kitchen) but I did it poorly.

Again, sooooo not referring to you.

But regardless, I asked for comments from people who don't have all the information, and I got exactly that. I see it as more my fault than anybody who commented. (At least anybody who commented with good intentions, anyway.)

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