How am I earning my gray hairs lately? Applying my oldest kid to high school in New York City, that’s how! And we’re talking public school, not some chichi private school that will take you if you can pay your way in. This is me, trying to take advantage of one of the top public school systems in the country. The caliber of teachers is certainly up there, and there are definitely some amazing schools and students graduating from them, but at this point it’s a miracle that anyone gets to high school in NYC because they make it so damned hard to get in to them! Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to live in one of the greatest cities in the world, but part of the sacrifice of being here is the sometimes ridiculously frustrating “different way” of doing things. We don’t have a local high school that the kids naturally transfer to after middle school. Oh no, here in the Big Apple, your child may have to get up at 6am to commute an hour to a high school in a different borough! I could go on and on about the process of touring schools, filling out essays, signing up for interviews, but my hair would likely fall out by the time I was done. It sucks, plain and simple. But the application process is almost not the worst part, the worst part, I think, is that my 13-year-old son is being pressured to consider what colleges certain high school kids get in to, and make a decision based on that! Seriously! 8th grade is supposed to be about zit cream and first base (la,la,la, I’m not listening to you, of course I know much more is happening but I am in total denial, look at my hair!)
8th grade is supposed to be fun, because now you are the oldest in middle school and you have made some really good friends and you have more privileges. What does my kid know about where he wants to be in four years?! As the parent, I need to do my part by researching right along with him, and that’s only because I don’t have a time machine to take me back to where he would look up at me with those beautiful blue-green eyes and say “Pick me up, mommy!” Now, he’s tall enough to pick me up. Ok, fine, I don’t want to think about him going to high school, let alone college. I don’t want him texting girls and wearing deodorant and contemplating shaving that dirt-looking stain over his top lip. I want my baby back. Aww, heck, now look what you’ve done. Another gray hair, and a new box of tissues. This parenting is hard, but it’s the best job in the world and I have my Totems to help keep me calm and hey, I can always dye my hair!!
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