Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Overthinking School, Bus Accidents, and Other Thrilling Moments in Parenting

And so back to our regularly-scheduled examination of my navel, or, more accurately, an update on how I am doing micro-managing the lives of my overly-blessed and overly-mothered children.


The school dilemma got more complicated yesterday, folks. Well, the decision to move the boys got easier, but I don't want to rely on what happened yesterday as grounds to make the decision, so then again it didn't. Get easier, that is.

Allow me to 'splain.

Yesterday in the mail we received One's packet from private school with details on his upcoming field trip. We've known this trip was coming since we enrolled him two years ago, but somehow seeing the package with our first bits of information freaked me out completely. Details are pretty much as follows:

  • Two day bus trip there and back again, totalling 2400 miles.
  • Ten days away from home.
  • Gone over a holiday weekend for which we already have excellent and fun family plans involving close relatives not seen in almost two years.
  • No identification of parent chaperones - just the names of the two teachers
    accompanying the children.
  • Three pages of rules, including gems such as "keep feet on the floor of the bus" (for 48 hours?!), "be gracious to everyone", "no snacks unless you have eaten something from every food group that day", "maintain quiet conversation in vehicles", and "stay in sight of the adults at all times".
  • A $1700 fee on top of tuition.

Hmm. Well, let's start with the bus company. One fatal accident in the past ten years, in the same state as One's destination. I saw the pictures of the bus on the NTSB website, showing how it ended up 1/3 shorter than it began - nightmarish. Then, the rules: he doesn't follow any of these particular rules at home, and I'm not sure how he's going to pick them up on this trip. And, the fee: did I mention we're already behind in tuition payments for this year? And that this "switch to public school" discussion arose not our of a dissatisfaction with our private school but out of financial concerns? I thought so.

Despite all this, I don't want to use this trip as the straw that breaks my camel's back. Why? Because if it's going to happen I want the school switch to be about positive reasons and not about "mommy is too frightened to be without her 'ittle sweet baby for a week." Because part of me is, and if I use this as part of the decision, I know it will be unhealthy for both One and me.

So if we move the boys, and anyone asks, remember: the move had nothing to do with this trip. I promise.

If I have to pray for weeks solid to make that a true statement, I will. I promise.


Anonymous said...

sometimes little things like these are just more signs pointing you to the decision you need to make...

Anwyn said...

Oh mah goodness.

I feel for you on a smaller scale, as I have been dealing with having my One(&Only) out of the house all day every day for the first time ever as he goes to "camp" in prep for his new school. And I also had issues with a field trip (of one day! to the science museum! that didn't end up happening because the camp director is sick!) so I can relate to the angst.

I don't know. I hate to make blanket statements (like that one) but I don't know that kids that young need to be 1200 miles away from their parents for a week for any reason, especially if the teachers and such plan to micro-manage their food like that. :P Let's just say I know *my* kid doesn't need to be, until many more years have passed from now.

Good luck. Sending you good thoughts. FWIW some of the issues I've had with the "camp" have made it easier for me to consider public school too, if certain things about the private school that are yet to be determined don't swing in our favor.

Tari said...


The trip scares the life out of me, as much as I HATE to admit it. And he's not ready for it, either - I can tell. Case in point: One had a sleepover this weekend and for dinner we went out for a lengthy meal - we put the 3 boys at a separate table and met friends with their new baby. One was terrible. He was excited to see his friend, and consequently he was up and down out of his seat, tried to pick his little brother up by the ears, hopped around the table, and generally acted about 5, not 9. And this was with 1 extra person in a casual restaurant where we go all the time. Uh-uh. He's not going. Even if we don't switch schools, he's staying home.