Somewhere in Suburbia
It’s a beautiful evening. Soft lights illuminate the patio and gentle breezes rustle through the palm trees. Between sips of various beverages, friends discuss their latest forays into securing the best private school educations for their children. There is a faraway look on my face as I stare into the belly of the firepit. My children attend — dant dant daaa — PUBLIC SCHOOL.
“Worry” pulls up a lounge chair next to me and starts nagging:
By the time your children begin applying to colleges (in about four years), some of their competition will have applications that read like the resumes of Fortune 500 CEO’s. How do you keep up with that? Are you putting them at risk by leaving them in a school system assailed by budget cuts and declining standards? Will the various college admissions boards cringe at the revelation – “this kid went to public school ?!?” (oh, the horror).
Now “self-doubt” joins the party and starts whispering:
Is being a stay at home mom of any value? Do the kids really need you to volunteer in the classroom or go on field trips? Maybe you should use that college degree you got years ago, get a real job, and make private school look almost affordable. Perhaps you should resurrect that Juris Doctor you’ve got in your back pocket and drum up some “lawyerly” revenue for the family…
My attention is jarred back to the conversation taking place outside of my own head as I am offered a chai latte.
“Did you guys hear that a member of our group came in second in the local Spelling Bee?” our host asks.
I join the rush to congratulate our friend’s daughter, while in the back of my mind, I ponder … public school or private?