These photos were taken March 6, 2012, the day before Apollo’s heart surgery.
If all had gone well, Apollo would have recovered from his double aortic arch division and be well on his way to health by now. We knew he would have lasting airway damage, though we don’t know the extent. The surgery should have enabled him to eat though. Not only did it not solve his feeding issues, but he’s developed a new problem, the loss of his left subclavian artery.
I have made 15 trips to Seattle Children’s Hospital so far this year. That’s a total of 3,000 miles I’ve driven just since January. Not to mention two trips to our local ER (g-tube infections) and numerous trips to our family doctor and visits to a feeding therapist. We kept waiting for things to slow down. And had his surgery taken the normal course (freed his esophagus, no loss of his subclavian artery) things would have slowed down by now. After our latest appointment to Apollo’s cardiologist however, it is obvious that we will be making frequent trips down to Seattle in the near future (we have two visits scheduled for next month already- and it will likely be more since we plan to pursue more testing)…
All of this has made us do some real soul-searching about what is best for our family right now. I can tell you what is not best, and that’s me leaving my children as frequently as I have been. I have been gone way too often this year and my big kids have been called on to watch their younger siblings way too often and it is wreaking havoc on our family. I’m not out to coffee or shopping, I assure you. I am usually at the doctor or some related appointment. These cannot be avoided. Last spring I wrote about our plan for homeschooling this fall, but that was all on the assumption that the appointments and trips to Seattle would slow down. I have since realized that no amount of organizing on my part will make me be at home when I’m not at home. And that is the real difficulty right now.
I’m not willing to make my older kids “raise” their younger siblings and I’m not willing to just do school “here and there” because we’re busy. My little ones are at an age where they are so willing and eager to learn.
The new plan is to send Mordecai, Jubilee, Hezekiah, Avi and Tucker to our local elementary school and keep the older five homeschooling. I won’t go into every reason for our decision, but the short answer is, the older five are old enough to stay home if need be and old enough to do a lot of self-directed work. Adalia will be at the community college and Tilly and Judah will be doing all of their school work on the computer, so it is only Enoch and Kalina who will be needing my direct supervision for schoolwork.
Mordecai and Jubilee will be in 4th grade (with Mordecai spending time in the “intensive learning room”), Hezekiah will be in 3rd grade, and Avi and Tucker in 1st (with Avi starting out in the “intensive learning room”).
I am heartbroken and I’ve shed tears over this. I love homeschooling and I love spending my days with my children. But I also know we can’t have another year like this last year. If I keep them all home to homeschool someone (and probably several someones) will be getting shafted. I can’t do it all and right now I need to focus on Apollo’s health issues.
As for the kids, they are all happy. The big kids want to continue to be homeschooled and the younger kids are excited about the new adventure. As for Chuck and I, we hope that this will be a one year stint and that the kids will be back to homeschooling next year.