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school daze

i apologize for not writing much. i apologize to myself on a daily basis for this. i miss my blog, but honestly, i'm just pregnant enough to be exhausted by nine. sometimes eight. plus i just puked my guts out after some minor furniture-moving exertion.

but i'm not staying up late because of THAT. i'm staying up past my bedtime to write this post which must be written: paul starts a twice-a-week preschool on september 25.

waaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!

a few weeks ago, a dear friend asked if paul was going to preschool this year or next year. i wrote back something along the lines of... burying one's head in the sand.

then i started to calculate ages. then i started to panic. then i started to research.

our local school district allows children to enroll in kindergarten as long as the fifth birthday takes place by december 2 (i think) of the enrolling year. paul will be four in a month and change. unless we want to redshirt him and make him one of the oldest kids at school, the time for preschool is NOW. shite. where the hell did the time go?

i found a local co-op preschool that sounded great and started trading emails with a teacher. luckily there was one opening in the appropriate age group, so we started driving around trying to find the school. then a few days ago, i found an article in the local paper about a city-subsidized preschool reopening after a two-year hiatus.

while the preschool madness was swirling around our heads, i was also researching kindergartens. our neighborhood elementary is okay, but not great. our neighborhood middle school and high school are even less than okay. in fact, both the middle school and high school have not been able (according to the school district handout for the 2007-08 year) to meet certain goals, and because of this, students assigned to these schools have the opportunity to transfer out to other schools. well, that's all fine and dandy, but priority is given to low-performing students from low-income families. in principle, i understand the rationale for this. i do, really, but that doesn't mean i feel good about my kid potentially being stuck in a less than ideal school situation because we're fortunate enough to have good jobs. (i am not saying anything about his performance because we don't know what it'll be.)

let's face it. we don't want to put him in the local religious private school because we're not religious and we don't want him to feel like an outsider (although we could afford that school). we don't make enough to send him to that private school up the hill with private-college-worthy tuitions and a mandatory carpool policy. we don't want him to stagnate at a bad neighborhood school. i can't homeschool. what to do?

the magnet program. please, gods of magnet education, take my boy.

but back to the present. last night the local co-op was supposed to have their first parent meeting. (cam had called the co-op teacher a few times and she was supposed to call him back with details.) but yesterday was also registration day for the city preschool. (i had only been mildly optimistic about that one because we're not residents of the particular city sponsoring the preschool, so i feared that there wouldn't be any space left after resident registration.) cam went to that and came back with a receipt for the first semester fee. sometime during that evening, we decided that we were happy with the city school -- for a number of reasons (parent participation, price, schedule, guaranteed spot, nice teacher cam had already met), not just because we hadn't heard from the co-op teacher -- and i emailed the co-op teacher to let her know. (i found out the next day that she had had some health issues and was unable to get to her messages. it gave me more sympathy for her, but it didn't change our decision.)

so. next tuesday morning is our first parents meeting, then school starts the following tuesday. i've already arranged to take both days off work. (i also scheduled my prenatal registration appointment for next tuesday afternoon because, well, it's an efficient use of a day off.)

when i think about paul in school, i feel a little panicky because i'm not sure any of us are ready for this change. as usual, i find myself immersing myself in the minutiae (new clothes? a backpack? snacks?) to get through it all in the most practical way possible. i'm trying not to think too much about how sad i could be feeling about this. last night we went for a little walk in our neighborhood and on the way home i started to tear up because he suddenly seemed so big yet so small.

mr. baby, are we ready to let you go?

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