While we had to make some compromises in this bustling metropolis, we have been happy with the girls' school and with the commute to work, mostly content with these four walls we call home, satisfied that our homework paid off, and relieved to not have to go through this headache again for at least another year or two.
And then, squirrel!
If you have a dog, you know what I mean by "squirrel!" You're walking along, enjoying the day, and then a squirrel crosses your path and your dog about breaks her leash trying to catch the crazy thing. Why? I dunno. It's there, I guess - isn't that reason enough?
You see, we're happy with their school. They've attended three elementary schools in three years, and we were looking forward to not putting them through that transition again this year. We walk to school, and it's been lovely that when I go up there to volunteer or if one of the girls needs to be picked up early because she's sick or if it's less than 30 degrees out (because let's face it, I'm a Georgia girl), it's a one-minute drive.
Do we really want a 20-minute commute to school? Assuming there isn't traffic? When we're already pushing it to squeeze in time at the piano along with homework and some time to play in the afternoons?
But it's a magnet school. Wouldn't that be great? All of that higher-level thinking all day long? Spending their days alongside other cute little nerds?
Or would that actually mean even more homework and less time to just be kids? Do we really want our girls to be in a classroom full of kids who may be there because their parents are obsessed with their kids being in the "best" school? The applications are due Friday... forms to complete, work samples to collect, do we have time to get letters of recommendation from other adults outside of their school? Is this what we want?
Watch, watch, watch.... Chase, chase, chase... Do we even like squirrels?
We are so blessed to have this "problem" to wrestle with - what to do with our brainiac children.
Some would consider it a no-brainer to send them to the magnet school if they have the opportunity to go there. But is this what we believe?
If our number one responsibility were to stimulate their brains to the max, then yes, that would be the place for them. But what about their emotional health? Their joy? Their peace? Their time with family? Their ability to play and just be kids?
In talking about our options last night, the words that came from Stephen's mouth that had the greatest impact were "worth it." Would it be worth it? To put the girls through changing schools again this year? To add the stress of a longer commute to school, more homework, less family time to our daily lives? If we're using the words "worth it," doesn't that say something in and of itself?
They are being challenged to learn and grow while being nurtured and making friends at their current school. They are happy. We are happy. What more do we want?
After staring this one down, we've decided to let it be. We're not interested in chasing squirrels. But sometimes, it's good to see one and think about it, just to remind yourself that you don't actually want one of those things, anyway.