Friday, September 15, 2006

five and up

five years ago i would never have imagined the passion that this little girl brings out in me. five short years ago i would never have imagined the overwhelming emotions of being a mom. five years ago i was in the hospital, waiting for her (we didn't know she was to be a her) to arrive. i am lucky. she was a very quick and easy delivery. she was three weeks early and weighed only 6 lbs 10 oz. (though she doubled that in less than a month. man, could she nurse.) she was so tiny to me. her head fit in david's palm. so tiny. fragile. but quickly fierce. strong. and she makes me the same. happy birthday miss e. (you can check out a few pics from her tea party, which we had last weekend here.)


it has been a passionate and overwhelmingly emotional week for me. and i have been surprised by the strength of my convictions. it is amazing what those big brown eyes do to me. and i thank you too - again - for standing by me. for listening to my tale. for offering your advice, opinions and support. i know there are so many bigger issues out there - but our kids' education - it is big too. and demanding that it be a quality education - for all children - is something i feel espcially passionate about.

i have been in contact with the charter school we originally investigated while exploring our options early on and it sounds like they have room if we need. but i do love and believe in the concept of our neighborhood school. part of the reason we decided to go this way, though we knew it would be a lot more work - was because we wanted the girls to know that this is the world they are part of. this is the reality and it is not perfect. but we can and will work hard to make it what it needs to be. and i have met with the principal, assistant principal, another mom, and another kindgergarten teacher there. this teacher gives me hope. she is saying the things i think should be said. ("no television in the classroom!" "teaching to the individual instead of to the test" etc.) i was not surprised to hear that she is a mom to two girls. it is a kindergarten / first grade split and this excites me as well. we haven't finalized our decision yet, but i am feeling oh so much better.

a few valuable links and references came up in the comments and in emails i have received this week. i think that they are important enough to restate here.

Commercial Alert


American Academy of Pediatrics

Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood

A Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer

Consuming Kids by Susan Linn

i hope this dialogue keeps going. that we keep talking about the current state of our kids' education. and that we keep supporting one another in whatever decisions we make.

again. thank you.

who knows where the next five years will take us? i so look forward to the journey.

enjoy your weekend!


stephanie said...

happy birthday dear, sweet E!

you are amazing tracy. i love what you've said here. stay strong!

angelique said...

Happy birthday E! Tracy, it sounds like you are feeling a lot more in control of the situation and I'm glad. I totally understand your reasons for wanting to stay at your neighborhood school and hope it works out. You've opened the lines of communication with the people who matter, and that can only be good.

devinemom said...

happy birthday! what a sweet write up.

another good book to read is Born to Buy. my husband is reading it right now and it has some good information about consumerism focused at children. it is a bit depressing but hits some good points as well.

i continue to wish you the best as you make further decisions about education...

melissa f. said...

5 is such a big big number-- happy birthday, sweets!

aahh the strength of conviction... our children test the very mettle of it. i didn't realize it would be that way... :)

this single spark said...

Big birthday hug to the big birthday bug. Hope you all have a wonderful day. xo

Kristina said...

Happy Birthday E!

And I wish you all the best with your decision ;o)

Alicia A. said...

Happy #5, E! You've got one incredible mommy. And you're following in her footsteps.

Good luck, Tracy.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday E!
What great photos Tracy - love love the china cups. Hope it was a memorable day for her.

And you sound like you are in a good (and informed) position re. schooling - look forward to hearing what happens. I can still remember the big piano in my kindergarten room (maybe because of the trauma of having the teacher make me take Squirmin' Herman, a chunk of fake fur stuck to a strip of suede with googley eyes glued on at one end, off my shoulder and put him on the piano til after school...I've never recovered.... ;-)


Celia said...

Hey Tracy!

I am glad to hear that you are feeling better about everything. I saw that you are looking at Chime Charter School.... Sean's sister goes to the Middle School and his mother is very active in the PTA and Parent run events. If you would like i can have her give you a call. Sean sister loves it and his mother is very supportinve. Let me know what you think and I will make the call. LOVE YOU ALL!


Eren said...

Your post today really speaks to my heart. It seems I have been running into these very conversations quite frequently lately. I am in your boat...debating public school and community involvement/supprt vs. having more of a say on your childs own ed. Such a tough call, but we are leaning toward public, so I will enjoy hearing another mamas story on this. Thank you and happy birthday girlie!!!! Sweet girlie!!!

kirsten said...

glad you're feeling a little better about the situation - it's easy to feel lost while making educational decisions!
love the tea party - we threw one for a #6 this year!
happy birthday, E!

molly said...

happy birthday, Miss E! i love hearing your thought process and all that you believe in when it comes to community and your children's education....

hannah said...

happy birthday e!! so wonderful to see your mom striving for the best possible for you!

The Bruin Boy Bunch said...

Happy Birthday Miss E!!!

Happy Anniversary of Labor Day to Mom of E

Tracy, Just as you said you wanted to go to your community school so you could show the girls how to make the world they are in better. Now at 5 years old and only two weeks into the school year it probably is not a big deal to change.... But I have a friend who like you was very involved in the school her kids were in and every time she was not satisfied with what was going on in the classroom she went to the administration and complained. The administration needed and wanted the parent’s participation so they did what she wanted from moving the kid from class to class even canceling lessons, on the other hand the teachers treated her kids different and the kids lost out. I am all for helping make the place better but sometime you can better serve your kids by helping them to succeed in the situation they are in rather than trying to change the situation from the top down.

Don't get me wrong I am all for charter schools..... However don't do it during the school year and yes 3 weeks in could be too late.

Good luck on this journey… it is a long one and believe it or not the decisions you make now will affect the rest of her life… (how’s that for encouragement?)