Sunday afternoon, I took the kids to a classmate’s birthday party. I was chatting with some of the other moms when someone asked where my kids would go for first grade next year, since they have only a month left in the final year of their Montessori program.
I hemmed and hawed and whined “I don’t know!” Our current town’s school system doesn’t have the greatest reputation, and while we’ve talked (for several years) about moving, it hasn’t happened yet – partly because of some weird job stuff, and mostly because we’re incredibly lazy and fear change. Then, after Daniel’s evaluation, we started wondering if we should consider sending the kids to private school. At which point we were pretty much laughed out of the room, because applications were due months ago.
But here it was, Sunday, May 5, and I had the sudden realization that I am an idiot. It’s freaking May. Their current school ends in a month. We need to have a damn plan for where they will go in September when first grade (!!) starts. I need to get over myself and register them at our neighborhood school.
So, today, that’s what I did.
What a weird feeling. I mean, the building is new and bright and the woman at the front desk was incredibly friendly and immediately knew the two kids on my block that already go to that school. It was a perfectly lovely first impression. But I’m standing there, and it’s such a… Real School. There’s older kids there, there’s 4th-grade artwork on the walls. There’s a gym and an art class and a cafeteria. I’ve been in a little bubble of denial in our teensy little preschool, it’s a little jarring to suddenly stand in a Real School.
The folder full of paperwork and residency verification was a little ridiculous. I don’t think I brought that much to the closing for my house. Utility bills and birth certificates and immunization records were all handed over. But then I felt like I had no control over the situation, no choice. They’re going to that school because that’s where a kid with our address goes to school. End of story. It’s hard to explain, but it was a strange feeling. Not to mention the slightly irrational fears of dropping my kids off at this unknown place and just hoping they’ll be safe and happy.
Oh man, I’m going to have some serious anxiety dreams in August, aren’t I?
Anyways, it’s done. We’re registered, they are all set to start first grade at our neighborhood school in the Fall. Maybe something will change before then, maybe we’ll get off our asses and sell this house. But if we don’t, then little local school, here we come.