Monday, September 25, 2006

As If There Were Ever Any Doubt

I had such dreams. Such hopes and aspirations that Lizzie would finally attend a neighborhood school for more than one grade. But, the Type A mama in me - you know the one - will not settle for anything less than the absolute best school for Lizzie. Which means one thing: a deceptively long nine mile commute into the nearest town because our neighborhood middle school is seriously lacking. It's either that or moving and the latter is not an option since we just closed on this house in January. So, back to the commute.

But, I tried. I really did. I gave the middle school a chance to be the good school I had hoped it could be. I did my due diligence. I perused the website and I spoke with the school's secretary and a guidance counselor. I even asked our current TAG (Talented & Gifted) coordinator for her recommendation. I really tried to give our neighborhood school the benefit of the doubt but I know it's just not a place where Lizzie will flourish. But the main reason - and it's a biggie - is the student body.

The kids in our neighborhood are much more mature than the kids with whom Lizzie attended school last year. Lizzie had a friend over from school last night. Another ten year old who also happens to have a flawless French manicure, a cell phone, drinks mocha lattes and is permitted to walk the mile-and-a-half to the local Target alone. Lizzie was impressed. I was horrified.

From the outside, this young woman passed the parental tests: polite, appropriately reserved and cool. But, "coolness" is a double-edged sword. I want Lizzie's friends to be cool in a "loves Nick @ Night, drinks Jamba Juice and thinks drugs are stupid" kinda way. Not in a "my mom's a crackhead and I piss caffeine" kinda way. Plus, a ten year old that can handle the death java is a tween to be feared.

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