Parenthood is finally getting all the kids in bed, settling down with a cup of tasty low-carb yogurt and your trusty laptop, only to fuh-reak out when someone screams at you from his bedroom, towards which you race with are-they-dying speed, only to hear, "Can I take my socks off?"
In other news, kindergarten is a GO. Now let's have a party.
I was talking with a friend about refinancing - she was attempting it, Phillip and I are mulling it over - and she kept asking me what I thought about her situation and I kept saying, "Dude, I don't know, but it feels right?" and she'd say, "Yeah, it feels right to me too?" and I'd go, "But you know, FEELINGS..." and she was all, "TOTALLY."
So I'm not sure what it means that your intrepid blogger here, who makes only emotional decisions, had a Good Feeling about the neighborhood school. I felt my anxiety around this situation just sort of... SETTLE. And the whole time I've been eye-rolling my own self because seriously? Could I MAKE a bigger deal out of something so not worthy of a Deal? KINDERGARTEN? REALLY? Then again, it's a SUPER huge deal! and I wanted to get it right and I was so confused when the Catholic schools didn't "feel right" and, well, thank God the neighborhood school did.
The principal led us around for an hour and a half. She talked a lot of curriculum and education philosophy mumbo jumbo that I barely heard (this is why I bring my mother to these things, she's a Professional School Opinion Haver) but I did notice a few things. She seemed to know every single kid. She never ignored a kid who wanted her attention. In the middle of talking to this group of prospective parents she took a few mintues to listen to a kindergartner read his story. I liked that.
Later I liked how she was super opinionated about constantly pulling kids out of class, about diversity, about teaching to all levels, about being friends with kids who are different from you - at one point I think she used the phrase 'world citizen' and that garbage totally resonates with my little bleeding heart. YAY OTHER CULTURES!
She also said she took some fourth and fifth graders to Barnes and Noble the other day and let them blow $1000 on books for their classes. I have heard enough Principal Anecdotes in my 32.5 years to know that is Special.
The school is REALLY old and worn out and run down. That said, nearly every inch is papered over with art and projects and vocabulary words and charts and posters. The one curriculumy thing I noticed was the amount of writing going on in that school, and the WORDS! EVERYWHERE! and you know THAT warms my little bleeding poet-wannabe heart as well. We visited four or five classrooms and every teacher seemed great and engaged and the kids were involved and there are less than 300 students in the entire school and FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN IS FREE and, well, that is that. Decision: made.
I could - I COULD - go to the option school open house next week and attempt to get Jack in there. But... yeah, I just don't feel like I need to push this any further. I think we are done. !!!
I still feel a little weird about the Catholic school piece. I think I just had this IDEA that we would send our kids to Catholic school. Because we could probably find a way to make it work, because we're dedicated and involved parishioners, because so many Catholics we trust think it's the way to go, because we've loved prayer in school, because it was a decision I emotionally leaned towards. But in practice it never FELT RIGHT. So I think I feel a little bit of loss around that, around the IDEA of what my child would do in school and being part of a Catholic school community and, yes, finding some sort of identity as a Catholic school parent.
Now, though, I am excited to be a parent at Our Neighborhood School. Mostly, I'm excited to be the parent of a kindergartner, a kid who GOES TO SCHOOL. It's this entirely new stage of my life, as freaky as the idea that my little boy will be five years old in May, and I CANNOT WAIT. I am totally going to take my OWN picture on the first day of kindergarten. (Maggie Cheung: Making Her Kids' Milestones Into Angst About Her Own Self Since 2007)