Sunday, August 1, 2010

Daily Debate

While I am busy staying in the moment, enjoying some relief from the nausea and relishing all the great things in my life, I am also thinking about something that consumes all parents dwelling in the Chicago city limits: Schools. It comes up all the time around parents. "So...what are you thinking about schools?" This question leads inexorably to discussions of the suburbs v. the city, and which suburbs are best for all manner of things including commutes, schools, community, proximity to current friends. Honestly, the whole thing makes my head spin.

I went to private Catholic school my whole life, other than 5th grade and that was a social and personal disaster. I have a lot of reservations about religious schooling, but there was so much of it I loved and love as a parent: it's safe and I love the uniforms, which takes pressure off having to have the right clothes 5 days per week. Do I want Sadie and Cherry Blossom learning that French kissing before marriage is a mortal sin? No. Do I want them to come home with tales of being shamed during the sacrament of reconciliation? No way. But, do I want to spare them (and me) of all the social pressures of having to have the cool jeans and the right tennis shoes every freaking day? YES! Yes, I do.

So, there's no denying it. We have to face this decision just like everyone else with a UppaBaby stroller holding on to his Wicker Park resident and facing two options: (1) shell out $20,000 per child for a private school you may not get into or (2) move to the suburbs where you can drive everywhere, but your kids don't have to play in the alley with homeless individuals.

To begin to get a better sense of our choices, beyond some 5inch pictures on Uncle Internet, today we are going to look at a house IN THE CITY, in a good school district (until 8th grade at least) that I have been coveting on-line for a few months. This move isn't imminent, since we've had more than our fair share of change lately, but I want to try on the idea of living in the St. Ben's area and imagining Sadie and Cherry Blossom going to school at the neighborhood elementary school. The vaunted Bell school district.

I can't really imagine any of this. I sort of hope I hate this house so I can stop lusting after it on-line. If I am headed to the suburbs, I want to just accept that now and stop trying to keep myself within 1 mile of Wishbone and my friends. If I love this house, can you imagine how annoying Jeff's life is about to get? Have I ever been able to let anything go? Can you imagine me being halfway through a pregnancy and trying to rush through a move? More importantly, my self-will is pretty strong, but it's probably not stronger than a recession so trying to get someone to buy our current townhome in an "up-and-coming" neighborhood where nothing seems to be moving off the market. There are limits.

I think I will come up against some of mine today if I fall in love with this house.

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