Saturday, February 13, 2010


Hey there-

I am having an F-you Bob kind of a week.

That's right, pardon my language, but F-you Bob for leaving me here to raise these boys and make all these decisions without you.

Oh, I can ask family and friends and my husband for advice, but in the end the decisions feel 100% mine. All mine. Which is a blessing and a curse really. My intention was never to be making these decisions without Bob.

The road to where is paved with good intentions?! latest quandary is regarding Henry and his education.

Long story short: late summer birthday, decision was made (by me) that he be older rather then younger for his grade, very bright, not very social, in a "bad" class, teacher suggests he test to skip a grade.

What!?!?!? I immediately begin to over analyze, because that is what I do best. I recall a recent conversation about super heroes while I was putting the boys to bed. I asked what they would do with their super power. Henry answered immediately that he would make a classroom just for himself.

"Why? " I asked, preparing myself for some awful story of teasing or bullying.

"So then I could hear the teacher and actually learn something."

Oh dear, that is not what I wanted to hear. I mean, I am glad he wants to learn something........

What should I do? I need help.

What would Bob do?

First of all, he would not over analyze everything, he never over analyzed anything. His favorite words to me were; "Relax, don't worry, it will all work out." Maybe it was the scientist in him but he believed in waiting, collecting more information, not jumping to conclusions. That man had patience!

I, on the other hand, love to jump to conclusions, I hate waiting. Patience is not my strongest quality, it might even be my weakest link, right next to organization. I want a decision made and I want to act on it.

So, what will I do with my latest quandary? I will try to channel Bob and "hear" what he has to tell me, I will feel his patience and understanding of who Henry is and what he needs and I will try to honor that.

I will collect more information, I will wait and see.

I will work on patience.

(and Bob, if you are out there, somewhere in the cosmos, sorry for the swearing. But seriously, if you could send me some of your patience it would be greatly appreciated. It is not as if you need it right now, right?)

Thanks for checking in-



  1. I was just faced with the decision as my son has a July birthday and I couldn't decide if I should enroll him in preschool for the fall or not. I decided to do it, see how it goes and have him do an extra year of preschool if he really isn't ready when kindergarten rolls around. It seems like no matter what we do, we can't win! I'll be interested to hear what you decide!

    I hope you are planning to be at Camp Widow in August. It would be great to meet you.


  2. I am with you on this all the way. This is one of those aspects of widowhood that doesn't get much attention. Having to make huge decisions about our children on our own when we signed on for the partnership deal.

    I was hit with this big time just a year after my husband's death when my youngest was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition. The pediatric cardiologist wanted to implant a pacemaker in my son within days. I had to make the decision to hold off for a second and third medical opinion that ended up taking seven months and included extremely costly genetic testing. The initial doctor was less than pleased with my decision and thought I was making a huge mistake. He gave me a hard time and said less than flattering things, not only to me but also my 10-year-old!

    But I stood my ground and in making the decision I relied on what my husband would have wanted to do. I always prided myself on the fact that I think I knew him inside and out. And I was very confident that he would have gone the second opinion route too.

    Whenever I have to make a major decision concerning my boys I still ask my husband for his advice and input. As you are doing I think about what he would do. But I still ask him and I still weigh in on his opinion, even six years later. They are his sons. So in a way, I'm not sure the decisions I've ended up making are entirely my own. He was part of it too.

    I don't know about you but in really knowing my husband so well and intimately, I am always very confident that I'm figuring out what he would have wanted to do too. And I guess that gives me some comfort. That even if he is gone, my husband is having an impact in the here and now with his sons, his pride and joy.

    Good luck on this issue and trust your heart and inner instincts. I also believe that all decisions made in love and with only the best interests of those involved, come out well!

  3. Wendy-

    I did somewhat of the same thing by having Henry is pre-school for an extra year. I don't regret that at all but it is tough at times knowing he could be in the grade ahead.

    I will be at Camp Widow and I look forward to meeting you as well. My husband and I are putting in a proposal to present on remarriage after being widowed.

    WITM-Thank you for the reminder about decisions made in love. We are all just doing the best we can right?

  4. What does Henry think? What would he choose?

  5. I like the idea of asking Henry what he thinks; not that he would make the decision, but it would give you more data to consider. 'Asking' Bob is essential, too. He is out there, and when you tune in you will hear him. Hugs, Kathryn

  6. Hi. I just happened to find your blog by reading Me and Madeline but I am a school psychologist and while I do not know what is best for your son, since I don't know anything about him except his birthday is not in the best month for easy schooling I do know about consistent concerns teachers bring up about students with late birthdays. So to just provide a little bit of knowledge from my experience is that most of the students I meet about in what we call a Child Study have birthdays between March and September and most are boys. The younger they are the more discussing I end up doing that the concerns the teachers have are generally age appropriate and most likely do not represent some type of disability. I have two boys myself,one whose birthday is in May. I did not wait a year and it has been difficult to see such a smart young man not have the maturity to complete work in the manner the teachers wanted. (Too playful was a frequent remark). There are of course many boys with late birthdays that I do not meet on; so again, this is just a little insight into what it may have looked like if you did not wait. The National Assoc. of School Psychs, may have research information on skipping grades. Also another good source of research on skipping grades can be found on internet sites geared toward gifted learners. Again I do not know anything specific about your son and he may or may not be a gifted learner but the information on skipping a grade may be helpful. It is a hard decision and I wish you the best.

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  8. I have never told you my "theory" about how living through divorce is living through a death. You may be thinking that it is obnoxious to say - because I could not understand the reality of how you have lived and survived. Please don't get me wrong. I don't pretend to be you - to have lost Bob who I believe fell in love with you the day he met you (the bakery was good for other's relationships, just not my own). It's simply that divorce is the death of hope for and dream of a relationship and a person. But, no matter the death issue, it left me also to make all the ultimate kid choices on my own. I had to consider some of the choices and issues you are facing. It went one direction for Anna - the other for Nash... and it worked out okay as I think you know. Anna felt she needed to start teaching the kids in her class when she moved into public school in first grade - and remembers fondly her 3 weeks in first grade. It was a perfect move for Anna to skip - and her new class became a fit mostly, and no one imagines she is younger than anyone else in her class. The only disadvantages seem to have been driving a year after all her friends,and not getting into the 18 year old clubs in Boston (no fake ID apparently) when her other friends could...Nash had a struggle, to learn to balance his brilliance with the brain scattering over-absorption of ADD and another disability: because of his small motor writing disability, he taught himself to learn in a way that ultimately worked for him. But, he needed so many hours from me and...I am not a patient person either. It is interesting because each child found their way but it was only with consideration and for Nash, very active intercession and coaching. When Nash was three, a wise psychologist and friend told me to rely upon my instinct when it came to my children. So, it didn't really matter how little patience I had/have. I just spent the time of heart- sometimes without patience, sometimes with - to understand who each of my children were as a whole person and then acted upon that knowledge as I thought I should. Analysis has a role but the common sense that comes from instinct has stood me and my kids in a better place. [I'm remembering that Bob and I may have disagreed about science vs. instinct from some kneading table discussions.] Each of my kids would tell you that they got where they are because I "know" them - dreams, gifts, and weaknesses all alike - hearts and minds. You have the tools and are gaining the knowledge already; you are good at choosing the road you want to be on, at asking questions of situations and then taking the path that you believe in. You can rely upon what your heart tells you based upon your knowledge by knowing your children. It may say to NOT be patient or laid back, but to act.

    I know you have probably moved past the thoughts of this blog but I just found your blog from Mike's Facebook...The questions may/will resurface, again and again. Instinct works.