Monday, February 2, 2009

kindergarten-da-vida, baby

The stress of kindergarten. The school in the woods open house was ok- sounds so quaint, but its not all that quaint. Its muddy and a lot of the staff have lyme disease, apparently. Anyway- in and out, down the pot hole strewn road, got the application and the number assigned to it. Learned that the 200 or so of us there were competing for 13 spaces.

I don't know that I liked it there anyway. The school is set in 300 or so acres of woods, (which I DID like) the push of the school is science, they are big on the environment, the kids hike for hours- that all sounds great, but it seemed like all they do. I like tadpoles, but I don't want to do my reading, math, science, art, do they have music? all about tadpoles. I think I would stop wanting to learn anything if I had to relate it all to a tadpole. I love, love, love the woods, I am not anti science, or anti environment- or anti tadpole- but the school did not seem so well rounded to me.

It was a reunion of most of the people I know, who I have been sharing kindergarten stress with. Public school? private school? Financial aid for kindergarten? Everyone with their version of the same stress, their babies starting kindergarten in a city where the public school system is broken. I really like the kids H goes to pre-K with and I'm sad that they are all scattering to different schools.

The public schools around here are ok, but I don't think they're good enough. I've struggled with just saying that, but there I said it. I worry that I'm not being realistic, I worry that I'm over sheltering. Or that I'm stereotyping. Or that I'm not being true to the community feeling that's snuck up on me from living here for longer than I meant to. Or that I'm part of the not-my-child problem with the public education system. Mainly I worry that I don't know what I'm talking about. I hate the idea that with private school you're paying for who your kid goes to school with. Although there is some truth to that, I have come to learn you can always find an asshole somewhere. Just as you can find a saint in a shit hole.

Going to these open houses is like going through the motions to me. I know where I want H (and later S) to go to kindergarten. I have no doubts, save for how I will pay the tuition for this school. H has been accepted to the school, I should hear about financial aid soon, in a week or two. Its a friends school, where my family, and now MY family, as is US, WE, have been going to meeting. My mother and grandmother are Quaker, they have been going to meeting at the meeting house associated with this school since the 40's. I was raised Quaker- and its only now that I'm realizing the truth to that. I've said for as long as I can remember that I was raised Quaker- but that was mostly my yearning to say I was raised something. I didn't know that I really was raised Quaker until I started going to meeting- it was all so familiar, and felt so right. Sitting there in silence with people who felt the same way I do, not about everything certainly, but who care about a lot of the same things I do. I sat there thinking, Wait! Am I going to be one of those people with the inner peace? I feel inner peaceful! So, there, now I've said that, too. I am apparently a Quaker. And am excited to raise my girls Quaker, too.