Thursday, June 26, 2008

I guess it's an educational crapshoot

So today, I got THE call. The call that said the girl got into the school that I had been trying to get her into since she started middle school. I had been trying to get the brat into a magnet program since we moved back to California. She tested gifted, but, in the way of all schools in my district, they didn't have space for her.

So I did what most parents whose local schools are little more than daycares with books, mixed with gang violence do: I used a friend's address to get into a better school district. The brat's school is more than I could have hoped for: It's a California distinguished school, it's got an excellent curriculum, a music program, a theatre program, sports and other completely RANDOM extra-curricular activities. But (and it's a big BUT...even bigger than mine) it's FAR. FAR far away. AND she loves it there.

And because she does, I drive 25 miles AWAY from the direction that I go to work to take her to school, and then drive ANOTHER 20 miles to my place of employment. It's a long and boring trip, even if it IS along the beach. She takes the local bus home and I worry every single day until she calls me to let me know that she's made it. I've gotten off early, so that I could be there for plays, concerts and softball games. I've begged family members to pick her up early when she's gotten sick. I was so excited when school ended this year, I took the day off, just to remind myself what it was like not to have to drive her anywhere at the crack of dawn and then have to rush off to work.

Now....NOW they want to tell me that she's been accepted. Now that she's in her GRADUATING year, and she's got friends that she loves, a rhythm for school work and homework and she's EXCITED about the upcoming tell me "Congratulations, even though you've been begging to get her in here for 2 years now, and she was smart enough the whole flippin' time, and now that she's comfortable where she is, we'd like to rip her from her school and friends to graduate with a bunch of strangers."

I wanted her to go to this school. I did. It's a good school, they've got a good program. But (there's that but again), what kind of heartless mom would I be to put her in this school to graduate? She's got her BFF, her plan to learn french, and her senior trip to look forward to. It would suck big fat ones to have to make new friends (the magnet school does NOT offer french and there would be no trip). To be honest, the only REAL difference is that the magnet school comes with a school bus. It's not even a BETTER school than the school she attends, in fact, her CURRENT school is better - they've got school books. Books for home, books for school, books! Books so that she doesn't have to drag home her body weight in a backpack. No photocopied pages because LA Unified is too cheap to buy more books. Which is probably not the case in the Magnet Program, but you get the picture.

Anyways, as much as I'd like to say eff it and let her be bussed to school, I just can't do it. I really just applied this last time because of habit. I would much rather her start a new school when she's got to start a new school (*gulp* HIGH SCHOOL) and not just at some random moment. She deserves to finish where she started..she's done 6th and 7th..she may as well get all the fanfare that goes along with graduating there. So I called the magnet school and said (not without some disgust), "Thank you, but no thank you."

Welllll....I can try again next year once she hits high school. Maybe THIS TIME, instead of blowing me off, she will get accepted right away and I can stop paying a 100 million dollars in gas carting her around and sleep an extra hour in the morning...and also maybe I will wake up having lost 30 lbs miraculously, have the cure for cancer, win the Nobel Peace Prize AND the Mega Millions.

It's probably got the same odds.


Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

You are a good mom to keep her where she is! That's a very unselfish decision you made!

Not sure I would have been able to do the same thing if I were in your position.

Mom Taxi Julie said...

The things we sacrafice for our kids! Kudos to you for doing all that driving for her to go to a good school!

Mamasphere said...

What a tough decision (the hours spent commuting can really take a toll on you), but you did the right thing. Definately don't want to mess with things if your daughter's loving school!

Jen said...

My son finally got into the magnet school we had been applying to for 3 years straight. Since he was in 2nd grade and hadn't made any really close friends yet we decided that he would change schools. We'll be dealing with this again in a couple of years. The middle school we are districted for is completely unacceptable. The whole school thing is a complete pain in the a#%!!!

Anonymous said...

As someone who was uprooted from the school she had known all her life and thrown into a new school with different people and a different pace, I believe that you made the right decsion. You're an awesome mom.
Thanks for stopping by

Immoral Matriarch said...

I think you definitely made the right decision, and I know it had to have been a seriously tough one.

She'll thank you later. :)