$10,000. TEN thousand dollars. Ten THOUSAND dollars. TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. That's what it will cost to put my 9-yr old daughter through the 6-months of cognitive training she needs to overcome her learning difficulties. TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. Ten thousand dollars to hopefully reverse some of the damage that has been done (and prevent more from happening) by a lackadaisical school system that would rather pass kids from grade to grade so it's "someone else's problem".
I know the school is not solely to blame. My daughter has specific physiological weaknesses in her brain that need to be strengthened. Because of these weaknesses, she has struggled in school since day 1. Now she's in 4th grade and it's affecting her self-esteem more and more. If I can make life easier for her and ensure a brighter future, can I really put a price on that? If I DON'T get her this help because of the cost, what does that say about me as a mother? I was a great student with shitty self-esteem and ended up as an alcoholic and drug addict. Both of my daughter's parents are sober alcoholics. The fear that my daughters will go through the things that I have gone through, that many drunken women go through, is always in the back of my mind. I try my best to raise her so she won't have to go down that road. TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. Can I really put a price on my child's future? NO.
The reality of the situation is that I'm a single mother of 2 elementary school girls. I have a job, but because of circumstances beyond my control, I do not make a lot of money. I am one of "those people" who qualifies for state-funded healthcare and foodstamps. I don't abuse the system and am grateful for it EVERY SINGLE DAY. We have healthcare and are able to eat fruits and vegetables instead of the 5/$1 mac-n-cheese and $1.00 hot dogs. The child support I receive comes in the form of disability money that my kids get because their father, my ex-husband, is on disability due to mental illness. Add up all of these factors and I think I made maybe $10,000 all last YEAR.
I just found out the cost of the program this morning so I'm still having some sticker shock. I have no idea in the world how I'm going to come up with $10,000, but I have to. I just do. So now what? I choose hope. Hope that something to fall into place and make this happen. Hope...when you don't have money, it's all that's left.