Decisions, Decisions

Option One: Rutgers Prep
It's never easy for me to make a decision - I'm always second-guessing myself. Even "do you want fries with that?" gives me pause. Fries: the evil of all food. No nutritional value, no actual potatoes, lots of salt - even sugar (probably) and God only knows what they fry them in. But...

Fries - YUM, YUM, YUM!

The ultimate in "no means yes". I say no, the kids say yes and I steal some anyway, much to their chagrin - "If you wanted fries, you should have ordered your own!" True, dat!

But, it was the right decision to say no.

Looking back on the last 25 years you might think I confidently made a series of quick decisions leading to drastic changes. Some were. Let's get married. Ok, we survived a couple of years of marriage. Let's have a baby... Ok. We did that. Let's quit our jobs and move abroad....

Option Two- stay in district with kids he knows
Many of the biggest decisions, though, came from mitigating factors and happened to me more than me choosing them: moving for T's job across the country, then for another, on the other side of the ocean (which is how we ended in 08807).

For years I've pondered the choices I'm making regarding my kids' education. How many emails have I sent to teachers and administrators trying to make improvements to what seemed to me like cracks in the system? How can I facilitate them to get the most out of their education?

With my daughter we made the decision to pull her out of pubic school to put her in private after an administrator convinced me that BRRSD didn't consider her worthy. If her own guidance counselor (who would be writing her college recommendation) was willing to tell a 15 year old (in front of her mother) that she wasn't needing to worry about taking the right classes, why keep her at that high school? ("It doesn't matter what classes she takes, she's not looking at competitive colleges, anyway.") I was livid. I drove straight from the high school parking lot and never looked back. A relatively easy decision.

Originally the thought of private school originated with our son. He really is smart, but just hasn't ever thrived in school. If there is something a parent can do to lower the wide gap between his aptitude and his output, I've tried it. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent speaking with teachers, leaving with tears of frustration. (If you read the archives of this blog, you'll get an idea). 

Now that we have finally made the decision to send him - and a small fortune - to private school, I find myself constantly second guessing. There was no final straw. Just two forks in a road. We picked the more expensive one.

Was this a mistake? A year from now, will I sit on the same 6:24 am train and wonder if it would prepare him better to attend a high school with 3,000 students or 400? Will increased debt give me sleepless nights and accita?

I guess part of many people's mid life crises includes wondering if choices you made 20-25 years prior were right. It seems implausible that my kids will look back and ask "why did they send me there?" But will I continue to second guess myself?

With a bit of luck, they'll see choosing private as I see many of my big choices: the best I could make with the information I had. At any rate, it's too late now. That's the thing about big decisions. For better or worse, you live with them.  

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