I am relieved to be at last ending my participation with a certain elementary school, Wonderland, in Hollywood. It is, in some ways, a great school. In other ways, not so much. In order to see its greatness, one has to step back and marvel at the big picture. What does it have to offer? A music program headed up by a magnificent, devoted, patient orchestra teacher. A physical education coach who is always there, present and engaged with the students. A full time art teacher who brings humor and innovation to the job. The parents are so involved with this school they practically run the thing. The teachers are also inspired and devoted, many of them. No one is perfect in this life and thus, some of the teachers aren’t quite the gods they’re made out to be but again, big picture time, it doesn’t really matter that much. The disconnect between the neighborhood school and the “gifted magnet” continues to pose a problem particiularly since it isn’t anything anyone can lay on the kids. It just is. It’s a class issue, a culture issue, a social issue and a parent issue. Unfortunately, it taints an otherwise great school.
Nonetheless, I have to say, I’m so glad it isn’t my problem anymore. My daughter is thankfully moving on to Middle School and I couldn’t be more excited for her future. A friend told me recently at a tea party (a really nice one) that it’s important to just look ahead at the possibilities. No one wants to hit their peak in 5th grade, or 4th grade or 3rd grade or even kindergarten. Christ, what does one have to look forward to if all of the best moments are behind you?
All too often we parents expect our kids to already be a success. Success is something that comes, or not, after preparation and hard work. My daughter still has a lot to learn. Emma has watched the other kids collect their accolades – best art piece, best speech, best project, etc. Emma has yet to be the “best” at anything.¬†¬† She doesn’t need to be the “best” yet. She’s only 11. I hope that she doesn’t think she has to be. I always tell her this.
And I’m over it. Gladly, happily, excitedly over it. I am looking forward to being very UN-involved in middle school. Someday the adventures at this school are going to make a great book. Until then, though, goodbye, good luck, have a great life. Here comes the harder part.