Thursday, January 30, 2014

So Afraid Of Screwing This One Up

When we first moved to this area, we knew very little about it.  We knew no one here.  We picked this particular area because of the schools.  I have to admit, most of the schools in the county (and everything here is run by the county) suck.  I mean suck big time.  In perusing the schools, I found a pocket of a few schools that looked great.  The community reviews for the elementary schools were good.  The academic scores were good.  The Great Schools rating for the middle and high school was even good.
So, when I happened to find a house for rent that hit the school track we wanted, we jumped on it.  I mean jumped on it like drove two hours down here from where we were staying while calling the rental office before it opened in the morning so that we could be the first there.  Then putting in our app the moment we left the house to get first dips.  We decided to stay here, too.  WE bought a house that hit the same elementary and middle schools, but go to a different high school.  The zoning here it totally screwed up, trust me.
So, when I started looking into the other high school, I started getting worried.  I started talking to parents and teachers, and now I am totally freaked out.  In the process, I started talking to parents about this middle school, that was supposed to be great.  Turns out, not so much.
The middle school scores well, but there is a reason.  Apparently, this is the most strict middle school on the planet.  I have been told repeatedly this is not a nurturing place.  At all.  I know for sure a couple of teachers were reprimanded for telling kids to shut up.  I had a teacher who happens to work at the high school that freaked me out tell me she would never let her kids go to this middle school.
That sounds awesome.
So, I started looking for options.
The Biggest One is supposed to be there next year.
Private school is out.  We are poor, or at least way too poor for that.  I don't even think a scholarship would be enough, unless it was a full ride.  Although, if I could, there is one I would totally be down for starting tomorrow for all The Girls.
Anyway, the other option is magnet.  There are a few she can still apply for.  The deadline is tomorrow. There are four, with 3 of them being arts based.
One in particular sounds like her.  It has a focus on visual arts, creative writing, theatre and theatre arts, dance, and so much more.  I mean, it seriously sounds like her.  There are big comic book style art images on the main school website.  She would be there for a long time, and not have to transition any more, something that is difficult for her.
There are two dilemmas, though.  First, she doesn't know anyone who will be going there.  This is a huge problem.  She finally has a few friends and she doesn't want to leave them.  We won't make her, either.  The Biggest One has a very domineering personality.  She is also very sensitive.  Honestly, she puts up this mean bossy front as a way to keep people from hurting her.  Kids are cruel after all.  She has some good friends now, though, who like her just the way she is.  They love a lot of the same things.  Even if there are just 4 of them, that is enough.
The second is that while this seems like it would fit the Biggest One, right now I do not see it as a fit for Middie.  This school is for grades six through twelve.  So, I would have Middie and The Biggest One going to two different schools.  I'm not sure I like that, either.

Honestly, I'm so conflicted right now it isn't funny.  I want to do what will be best for her, but I have no idea what best is.  As a parent, my biggest fear is screwing up a major decision for her.  You want to get everything right, but so much of parenting is a crap shoot.  You roll the dice and you just hope that you are making the right decision.  Unfortunately, you don't find out until much later, if you ever really know.
This decision is was too important to screw up.
So, in the next 24 hours, we have to either apply or not apply.  We have to knowingly send her to a pack of wolves, or knowingly take her away from her friends.
Life is hard.
Parenting is hard is really hard sometimes.
Knowing that you might screw up for your kids is nearly unbearable, and it hurts just thinking about it.  Seriously.
I think I'm going to go snuggle with her and hope that somehow, someway, one of those snuggles produces the right decision for her.  That's all I got.