Tuesday, March 6

The Really Complete Tucson Update

We moved to Tucson and if it was a successful move or not still remains to be seen. My husband was officially retired from the Air Force, March 29, 2012.
It isn't exactly the move I envisioned. We have only connected with very few previous friends. It seems most of my previous friends are only through Facebook. I guess being gone for 3 years you find who are your real friends. The painful part of it all is that although their children all go to school, the Moms hang out for Mom Night Outs and I have not been asked to be a part of that group or been invited. I'm going to stick with the idea that it is because I homeschool, so they must think I have become a weirdo or something. I don't want to think it is because there IS something wrong with me, nope denial is more comfortable.

We live in the best school district in Arizona, literally. I think that maybe why the homeschool community here isn't as strong as it was in Vegas. There are few extracurricular activities that take place during the traditional school day. There isn't a $6/per class gymnastics here. There is no ice skating at all since the only rink here went out of business. In the last 3 months there has only been 1 field trip opportunity. The elementary co-op class we attend (K-3rd grade) is very traditional in it's structure with 20 children and 1 official parent in charge. The parent (bless her heart) has no background in education other than being a homeschool teacher. The parents are supposed to remain on site to help and oversee their child's behavior. With 20 children, there is rarely more than 2 other parents there, myself included.

For the homeschool group we belong to there is a P.E. class most Fridays at a local park. Again, it is very traditional in that the children are divided by age with my children's class being ages 4 to 6 year olds. It is a real struggle for my oldest daughter who is the size of a 9 year old (CDC growth chart). The parents do stay and wait, most sit in groups. If you are new, you have no idea where to sit and the groups make no attempt to reach out and welcome new members. It doesn't help that most sit in a circle with camp chairs and blankets. I didn't bring or even own a camp chair and can not sit on the ground for more than 10 minutes. I attempted to break into one of the groups, but after an initial self introduction, stood there feeling very excluded. However, when my husband attended in my place, they went out of their way to invite him to sit in a group even giving him a chair! Considering my husband is a wallflower in brand new social situations, I took this news very hard. I realize my husband is very good looking, but really, did I act like an alien?

We attended one playground gathering. We arrived and I surveyed the groups of women standing together and chatting. No one must have recognized me from the 4 previous P.E. classes I had attended. Eventually I found an opportunity to walk over and introduce myself, but then found myself listening to conversations that I was not included in. After standing awhile I went and sat down by myself. Then the other Moms must have finally gotten tired of standing and sat with me. It was the only bench with seats in proximity to the play set.

I watched my girls play together most of the time. Finally my oldest was playing with the older girls there, 8 years and older, but as soon as they found out how old she was, they excluded her. Then I listened to two Moms talk about the drama going on between two of the nine year olds that were 'best' friends. The one was jealous that she was playing with other children. Then they gossiped about another Mom who was not there. This is supposed to be a Christian homeschool group. Eventually my children found a very nice girl to play with and they seemed to get along great. She was 6 years old like my oldest daughter. All three of them played well. When it came time to leave, I discovered that one nice little girl wasn't even part of our homeschool group. Sigh, so even the children are so used to each other being friends that they find it hard to include new ones.

I am thinking we need to involve ourselves in a homeschool group that is either very new or less traditional.

On the bright side, one of the main reasons for returning to Tucson is working out. Both my children were adopted from the Arizona Foster Care system and have some abilities that are unique to their biological history and trauma. The girls are back in Physical Therapy with Mary O'Connell to work with their motor skills challenges and sensory integration. My oldest and I are in weekly therapy together to work on our attachment to each other. My youngest has an appointment with a Developmental Pediatrician at the end of this month. The oldest will see her again next month. I'm going to see if the Developmental Pediatrician recommends we continue with music therapy, the only decent service we were able to find in Vegas.

We are working with a HUD counselor to see about getting our payment reduced on our 6.125% interest rate mortgage on a house that is worth at least $40k less than what we owe on the house.

The medical care here is better since I can be referred off base to civilian specialist. Although, there are syringomelia, until I have another MRI to see if it is growing. Despite the monthly insurance premium and co-pays we are not used to, it is nice to know we have access to much better care.

Oh, we love our family (an uncle and a cousin) here and church too. So all in all everything is okay and I'm sure it will get even better over time. I just have come to realize it is almost like moving to a new place all over again. Now, my next order of business is to find a good babysitter. We miss Hannah in Vegas.


artsy_momma said...

We miss you & the girls! The 1st year is always the hardest in trying to get readjusted so I am confident you fill feel better about living there by the end of the year. Hopefully you can look into some other groups until you can find a better fit :)

artsy_momma said...

Oh & glad to hear that you are getting better health care over there.