Another One Bites the Dust

Well, I can hardly believe this as I write it: Preschool number 2 has closed. That’s two in three weeks. That’s after Lucas has made new friends, after I came to believe that it would all work out.

Letter to Ex-Teacher #2:
Ex-Teacher #2,

We are very upset to hear your news. We chose your school in part because we felt you offered a stable, loving home-environment for our son, Lucas. I believe we have talked rather extensively about how he is still grieving over the closure of his last preschool, Little Gate Nursery School. He misses his old teacher every day.

And although we have assured Lucas repeatedly that his new preschool, Treasure Garden, is wonderful and that he will attend your school this whole year, we find ourselves in the sad position of having lied to him. I am disappointed to have provided him only a temporary “home” at Treasure Garden. I believe he is just beginning to settle into the new place and new routine.

I am upset that Lucas will not be able to enjoy a stable environment there and will have to face another transition and learn to trust a new teacher. He’s had enough upheaval for this short period of time, and we are eager to put an end to it.

I’m sure you understand that we will be withdrawing Lucas as soon as we have found a new school for him to attend, which we hope will be sometime before the end of October. I don’t like the idea of him getting more and more attached to you, Treasure Garden, and to the other children, only to have to say goodbye in the end anyway.

We will expect you to return any unused portions of our prepaid tuition and materials fee when we withdraw Lucas. We will need that money for our next school. We think this is fair, since we were mistakenly led to believe that your school would be a permanent, year-long situation.

I am sympathetic toward your mother’s condition, your father’s health, and the temporary splitting up of your family when you move to Japan. I’m sure that this is an awful position to be in, and this will be a difficult upheaval for your family as well.

However, we feel that the contract you had us sign was not written in good faith.


Sara E. Wilson
Ian G. Wilson

5 Responses to “Another One Bites the Dust”

  • kimkimkaree
    September 27, 2005 at 2:03 pm

    I’m hesitant to respond to this because I feel sympathy for you, but I also feel sympathy for your teacher. Contracts are fine and good but when it comes to an ailing parent that you need to be with I think contracts tend to go out the window. But that is more my personality style to say situation trumps business. You definitely should get your money back and I hope that is a non-issue. I realize stability and routine are important to toddlers and I’m sorry he has to go through this, Sugar. I guess I am wondering if you think this could have been prevented? What would you have her do to fix this? I am asking sincerely. Do you think it would have been possible for her to find a replacement or is she a one woman operation?


  • sarabellae
    September 27, 2005 at 3:05 pm

    I feel sympathy for her too. It sucks. The circumstances for her are really difficult: her mom has advanced Alzheimers and her father is too old to properly care for mom. Keiko is choosing to close school, sell her home, split up her family and take her younger son to Japan with her while her husband and older son stay here. I can’t imagine splitting up my family like that.

    Considering she spent the summer (or the better part of it) in Japan with her ailing parents and returned to CA on 9/5 to start school, I can’t help but believe that she had all this in her mind (at least as a possibility) all the while she was arranging with us, signing contracts, etc. Her mother didn’t just suddenly come down with Alzheimer’s and her father didn’t just suddenly change from young and spry to 80 years old. I think it might have been prevented if she had been honest with herself and honest with us.

    In these last 2 weeks, Lucas has grown to trust her and has made friends. He’s adaptable, but this is a rough lesson to learn at such a young age. It’s a double-whammy, as he would say.

    There is nothing to do to fix it. She is a one woman operation and if she sells her home like she says she is planning to do, then there is no school.

    Our dilema now is to figure out where to go next. Keiko is keeping the school open until December (at least she’s given us time to find someplace else), and she strongly wants us to stay enrolled through October. But there are two factors to consider: 1) we should take it if we find an opening, before that opening fills up and we can’t find one in December, and 2) the longer Lucas stays there, the harder it will be to leave.

    She has to do what’s right for her family. So do we.

    We are running low on options. Most of the Waldorf programs nearby only offer morning care. It’s workable for moms who don’t work. It’s less workable for me, but so far I’ve managed it. For full-time working moms, it’s almost impossible.

    I don’t want Lucas in full-time care or in an academic program. I want him someplace like Treasure Garden: Today, when I dropped him off, he was patiently adding grains of wheat into the hopper of a grinder and cranking the handle to make flour, which was to be made into bread today for their lunch.


  • kimkimkaree
    September 28, 2005 at 1:55 pm

    I truly don’t want you to feel like I am picking on you or trying to point out how one pain trumps another because that’s not what I’m trying to do at all. I love that your son is such a high priority to you and I celebrate it with any stranger who will listen (and you thought YOU talked too much about your kid imagine how wacky I sound talking about someone else’s!).

    Anger and frustration are feelings that are rightfully yours in this situation, and I will gladly hold a punching bag for you or go hit balls in the batting cages with you any time. But I am not sure your anger is best focused at your teacher. I guess what I would like to suggest is that you ask her what the situation is, and if she had closing the school in mind, before you assume that. I say this mostly because YOU are a fantastic one woman show and may one day find yourself in the exact same position as her. You may be dead on about her decision, or you could be wrong. Perhaps she was counting on another family member, some government health care pension or any other kind of situation that fell through and now she has to leave her life behind which in my mind would be the last resort. I lean towards neither reality. But I would hate to think that you assumed somewhat devious action on her part when that might not be the case, that’s all.

    I know I am guilty of the exact same behavior on a regular basis so I am by no means singling you out. I try harder these days not to fall prey to it after I got a big dose of being on the receiving end. When Susan moved out of our place on S Street I was devastated with a ton of loss: getting up and putting one foot in front of the other was about all I was capable of. I was unable to get a roommate in there in time to cover the huge rent and I was forced to give notice. Granted we did not have a lease, but our landlady chose us over other hopeful tenants in part because we assured her verbally that we planned on staying for at least a year. Now, only after 3 months we were moving out and she jumped to the conclusion that I had lied to her. So along with everything else I was dealing with I had to conduct the last painful business of moving out with her cruelty and wrath. I had written my 30 days notice in a letter explaining the situation and apologized profusely but it didn’t matter because she wanted to be angry at someone. At one point I snapped and we ended up yelling at one another. I did not expect her to give me a hug for letting her down, but she has a lot of rental properties in Sacramento and I will no longer refer anyone to her. She burnt a bridge and one never knows when that can bite you in the butt later. Everyone has the capacity to be suspicious and cynical especially when we are put in tough situations, but I am finding that I personally lose out more than not when I succumb to it.

    I love you bushel and bushels full and if I can help in any way I will. I am truly sorry you are finding yourself in this position again of having to find a new pre-school and I realize I have no real concept of what that must feel like. I know it must be very painful feeling like you inadvertently let your little guy down. I’m sending you lots of hugs and kisses and keeping my fingers crossed for a bright spot on the horizon. If every parent cared as much as you do the world would definitely be a better place, and you are nothing short of a superhero in my mind. Your recent posts have been a joy to read and I really hope I haven’t discouraged you in that with my alternate perspective. xoxoxoxoxox


  • sarabellae
    September 28, 2005 at 3:28 pm

    Yes, all of what you say is very reasonable. And yet, I am entitled to feel what I feel. Especially in this private/public forum, which is safe because it harms neither the teacher nor my kid nor anyone else. Sometimes I have to write in order to work out my feelings. It’s part of my processing. I would write about it even if I didn’t post to live journal.

    I feel like I have perhaps disappointed friends by not immediately being able to take the high road or the long view or the morally superior position of compassion and forgiveness and lovingkindness, or whatever you want to call it. While I try everyday to be a better person and do good and right in the world, I also have feelings that are intense, real, and perfectly acceptable. If some of those feelings are negative sometimes, well… that’s part of the human package that is me.

    When I use my Life Binoculars, I can see that all of this will work out fine in the end. Lucas will adjust, I will forgive, we will all make new friends and life will go on. Hopefully the teacher will work everything out in her life, too, to the best possible outcome for everyone. I do wish her well during this challenging time.

    Right now, however, I also have to live in the moment, which demands that I do a whole bunch of legwork to find another teacher (hopefully one I can trust), protect and care for Lucas through the change, get this enormous mountain of work off my desk. Sometimes the mama bear in me comes out and I feel fierce.

    Thanks for the offer of help and for the good wishes. I appreciate alternative perspectives; I also want to feel what I feel until I am done feeling it.

    You’re right; I should talk to her and find out more about the situation. That would be a wise thing to do. However, I can’t talk to her now, because I’m too hot under the collar for that to be a productive or kind conversation. And that is the best I can do today.


  • kimkimkaree
    September 28, 2005 at 4:26 pm

    I totally agree with you, I was more under the impression that this was a letter you had sent or was considering sending. There I go assuming and ignoring my own advice. You haven’t disappointed me in the least. I’m sorry you felt that way.


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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

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    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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