Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Mom I Want To Be

We got the first phone call two weeks ago.

2nd choice school informed me that we're number 37 on the waiting list.  And that they were not accepting any students that didn't have a sibling already attending the school.

I was really disappointed because secretly...this was my favorite school.  I sat in the parking lot of open enrollment day watching Mom's drop off their kids and I could picture dropping my own kids off there.  I got a good feeling about that place when I walked in the door.

Oh well.

3rd choice called this week.  We're number 35 with 10 spots available.  That's okay.  This school is farther away and really small.  It'd be a pain to get to everyday.

And I wait...for our 1st choice school to call.   This is the school with perfect scores and all students are picked by lottery.  This is the school that future presidents will attend.  It's top notch.

I've been waiting for 2.5 weeks for them to call and tell me what our number is.  A parent that I ran into the day that I turned in our application told me if I got a number over 40 our chances weren't good.  But they haven't even called me with a number.

Suddenly, they are the boy I dated in high school that said...i like you and I'll give you a call.  And I waited and dreamed about how great it would be when he'd call and we'd be together.  We'd have a beautiful wedding, live in a mansion and raise 2.5 awesome kids.  If he'd just call.  I've driven past the school and visualized dropping my kids off there and how much they will learn and how bright their futures will be.

Yes, I'm stalking a school.

I wrote the above paragraphs yesterday....and then decided that I couldn't wait and I called the school.  They told me I'd be getting a letter in the mail next week with our number.  I was confused so I chatted with my friend JoAnn on twitter and discovered that this means we didn't get a spot.  We've been wait listed. UPDATE: The Charter School hasn't chosen spots yet!  We got the letter....we're NUMBER ONE!



I don't know how Christina and I came to know each other.  She might have followed one of my witty comments from another blog or it could have been just a random accident.  Christina has been an awesome commenter and friend.  We have so much in common and she's just a lovely person.

There have been many, many snow days all over the country.  A collective moan was heard from twitter and facebook as Mom's everywhere had to deal with their kids being home from school AND trapped in the house.

Christina blew me away.  She was excited that her kids would be home and promptly whipped up overnight waffle dough for the next day!  The day after that...she and her entire neighborhood went sledding.  There was mulled wine and hot cocoa.   Not only do I want to BE Christina...I also want to move to her neighborhood!

I've given a lot of thought about the Mom I want to be when my kids start school.  I want to be involved in their classrooms, be able to help with homework (lord help me), be active in the PTA and not dread my kids being home.  I'm guessing this will become even more important since Alex will be attending a less successful school.

I started something new in 2011.  It's a simple change of words that has helped my attitude so much!  Instead of i HAVE TO (insert chore here)....I say i GET TO (insert chore here).  I'm blessed....I know this.  I embrace the ordinary in my life and that makes it extraordinary!

I get to be the best Mom I can be...and Christina is my role model!

Yesterday....I GOT TO teach my daughter how to read.  What started out as a sad day with me crying about lost opportunities...ended with joy and excitement as she learned something amazing.  Something that I taught her.

I realized that everything's going to be just fine....


  1. Such a bummer about the schools...I was so excited to see your Tweet about teacher your daughter to read - you both rock!

  2. Girl, you don't NEED those schools. Any school will be lucky to have your little guy and he will blow them away with his smarts! :)
    And now I want to be Christina too.

  3. Connie - you are a MUCH better teacher than any you would find in a school. Believe me - I am a teacher. You know your children better than anyone else in the world.

  4. Oh, I'm so sorry it might not turn out perfect! I have really been thinking about you and all this school stuff lately. I hope it all works out.


  5. As a teacher, I have found that what kids learn in school is about 40% what I teach and 60% what is going on at home.
    Positive home life, supportive parents, loving environment, parents who are actively involved = successful student, no matter where they go.

  6. I don't know how Mom that have to apply just to get their children into Kindy do it. A lottery system? Only accepting student that an older sibling already attends the school? The whole process would seriously push me over the edge. And, frankly, I don't have time to play games like that. And, truthfully, no parent, even IF they have the time, should have to deal with that.

    We chose to live, where we live, because of the school district it placed us in. All the children in the community go there. Is it the best? Who knows. It's one of the best in our area. And, all that matters to me is that she will get a quality education. And, perhaps more importantly, the biggest hurdle I will face in the fall when it comes to registering Mads for UPK is whether I chose the morning of afternoon session.

    Quality education should be available for all - and should not come down to a a lottery system. Just my humble opinion. And, I wholeheartedly agree with one of the above comments. 60% of a child's education happens at home - and last time I checked - you were doing a ROCKIN' JOB mama! <3

  7. Hey Connie-
    Have you checked out Compass Montessori? Its a Jeffco School near Golden I think. My boss lives in Lakewood and her 3 boys go there and they love it. Super involved parents and teachers, small classes and they even have a working farm! Might be worth looking into :)

  8. You are right, everything is going to be just fine and work out how its suppose to.

  9. I thought about you all day yesterday and even thought to email you some words of encouragement. But I think you came to that realization - disappointing as it might be that you don't get the school of your choice, you are turning it into an opportunity - you will see that it comes down to the involvement you put into their education means SO much more than some "smart" school!!


  10. So sorry to hear about the schools but as people above me have said, he will do well anywhere because he has such a strong and supportive family! I can't believe how stressful school is in your area. Thank goodness the only lottery we have is for morning/afternoon kindergarten. I don't think I could handle all of that stress.

    Christina sounds amazing :) But you are pretty amazing yourself lady so please don't sell yourself short!

    Yipee for Mallory! that is so cool :) I can't wait until Z starts reading things to me. I feel like he is close.

  11. Awww, Connie! Thank you for your kind words!! We first bonded over our mutual respect for Kate Gosselin and Sarah Palin. That was quite a while ago ... I have a feeling we've both lost a bit of that respect for them! :o)

    I have to say it was difficult to appreciate all the time I got to spend with the kids when they were younger!! I needed my breaks from them, that's for sure! Suddenly they are 6 and 7 ... the time absolutely flew!! I was born and raised in Florida so snow days are a TOTALLY new thing for me. The excitement of SNOW plus the opportunity to spend time with my kids ... I absolutely love it. The cooking and planning our meals for snow days is the absolute best!!

    Good luck, Connie, with the school stuff. It's amazing how stressful that decision can be! When we were looking to buy/build, we had ONE thing that mattered - schools. Everything else came after that. I think a lot of it is what you are willing to put into it. You will be an active parent - you'll know what's going on in the classroom and in the school. That stuff really does make a difference!!!

  12. I'm sorry about the school situation :( What a bummer! Obviously we don't have to deal with that being that we homeschool, but also we live in a tiny town, so we only have one option for a public school. Anyway, I agree, any school would be LUCKY to have your son {and you!}. It'll all work out.

  13. Sorry about the disappointment, but you're right...everything will be just fine and work out exactly like it should.

    Christina sounds amazing. Maybe we should all aspire to be like her.

    Good job ob teaching Mallory to read!! That's awesome!!

  14. Good luck with the schools - I hope one of them comes through for you.

    It's so lovely that you taught your daughter something, I'm sure you're a fabulous Mum as you are!

    Have a lovely weekend,

  15. This was so much fun to read because I can really sense your excitement about all the fun you'll be having with your kids throughout their lives.

    This makes me miss my kids so much! Why do they grow up and leave us?

  16. Don't waste one more second worrying about what school your son goes to at this early age. Focus on who HE is. He won't be defined by Kindergarten.

    If you are worried about him falling behind, then find out what the "best schools" are teaching their students and add the necessary extras at home. Women who home school teach their kids twice as much in half as much time. And the socialization they get at one school won't be all that different than what they get at another. This isn't college.

    The important thing is that you have a bright boy. He will be fantastic in any school. Now AND in years to come.

    My friend Anna was telling me about a film she saw called "The Race to Nowhere." It sounds like something we should all watch:

  17. Sorry about the schools! It's hard when you want something so bad for your kids but you have little control over getting it. He'll do great whatever school he goes too!

    Your friend Christina sounds amazing! I am in awe of the people who are able to really enjoy every part of their day and I strive to be that way. It is sometimes as simple as changing the words you use, thinking just a little different. It's a simple concept yet so difficult. Sounds like your becoming who you want to be!

  18. What a lovely post. This time of year is always hard for me, with all the registrations and everyone telling you that "you have to get in here and there" and why one is better than the other. It always works out, doesn't it?

  19. I think you are great mom. And that no matter what school the kids go to they will do great.

  20. Ditto the comments about the schools. Alex's education is going to be a journey no matter what building he starts out in. It sounds like you know the journey is already underway in your own living room. THAT'S where future presidents come from.


I love you. You are my best friend! Your hair looks fantastic today!