Earlier this spring I alluded to a stressful situation that threw me for a loop with my Big D Half Marathon training. While I haven’t written about it again, it is something that has been a pervasive and constant source of stress and anxiety for my family.
I have been incredibly fortunate the past two years (4 years for my oldest) to have my 3 kids at the same k-12 independent school where my husband and I work. Through a combination of financial aid and employee remission, as well as assistance from the kids’ father, my husband and I have been able to swing the balance owed. Our children receive not only an amazing education, but the benefits of having all five of us in the same building every day are indescribable. It’s truly our second home.
Unfortunately, the kids’ father is choosing to no longer contribute to their education. This news was shocking to us, and my husband and I had no idea how we were going to keep them enrolled. While we have always covered the majority of their tuition costs, the amount now owed seemed overwhelming. Insurmountable. Budget-busting, on a budget already stretched thin for two teachers with three kids.
I cried at first. A lot. But then we started working on scenarios. Ways to make it happen. Summer teaching jobs. Re-negotiation of salaries. Our school worked with us on our predicament.
Sometimes, the universe conspires to make it happen.
I am profoundly grateful to be married to a man who is so committed to his stepchildren. It would be easy, and understandable, for him to feel resentful about our financial priorities. I feel lucky to be at an institution that not only says it values our contribution to the community, but gives back every bit as much as we give.
Most of all, I feel grateful, and proud, that I’m able to provide these opportunities for my children. I’ve had to have some heartbreaking conversations with them over the past four years. Telling them they were returning to their beloved school, and seeing the look of relief on their faces?
I can’t put a price tag on that.