Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Parochial

Do you love where your kid attends school? I mean, like ... 100%, wouldn't change a thing, the school hung-the-moon-kind of love?

Like that annoying woman at the park, who keeps telling you that her kid can speak Mandarin, is advanced, and already looking at Harvard- all thanks to her making that brilliant decision of sending her prodigy to Blah Blah Elementary-- do you love your child's elementary school like that?

Ok, so you do? Cool- that's awesome. You can stop reading.... right... about... now.

I had no idea how ridiculous it would be to try and find a school for Birdie. Kindergarten- it used to be that grade where coloring in the lines and using plastic scissors to cut only paper and the occasional skirt were the only things that required graduation to first grade- where school got real.

Not anymore. People line up at incubation, probably still with bed head to enroll said Prodigy into whatever school is deemed the best. The best, by whom? Dunno. Probably "they" -- whoever "they" are.

And everyone has an opinion-- wait, let me rephrase that-- everyone has the right opinion. You aren't sending your prodigy to Blah Blah Elementary? Well- you're an idiot.

Welcome to the club. Apparently, I'm both the president and a member.

But, how do you decide? Seriously? How do you decide WHERE in the bright world those minions that you thought would be a good idea nine months and five years ago will be enrolled for their primary education? Coloring outside the lines will not get you into Harvard.

Because nothing is more important than both the education they receive and the bumper sticker that goes on Mom-Mobile. It's a status symbol, you know.

Granted, my littlest prodigy is currently stuck under a piece of furniture. Fuzzy went in for a large Lego and cannot figure out how to get out without bonking his head. Meh, he's not crying. I'll give him a minute.

Ok, so now that I have gotten all that out of the way- let me say this: There are so many awesome choices out there for schools and I wish that everyone could have as perfect of a fit as we do with Birdie and Parochial. Will it be as good of a fit for Bennie? I don't know, but I don't have to make that decision yet- we have two more years before I get to hear, or be, that mom at the park.

As Husband and I have always said, knowledge is power. We are not going to let our friends make the decision for us. Whoever makes the first commitment of where their kid will be enrolled, their friends almost immediately follow suit. On one hand, do you want to be the first to make the commitment, or do you want to step out and see for yourself what everything has to offer?

A friend of mine is touring schools right now. She said that she and her husband are not from here and have no ties to any school- so she is touring all of them... like even the private schools that are thirty minutes away and the public school up the street. Financially, we didn't have that option- but we toured what we could and made a decision based on that.

I wish I could convey how cool Parochial is. What it has to offer is so much more than merely being a Catholic school. Not too long ago, I heard someone say, "We'd send our prodigy to Parochial, but we aren't Catholic."

Did you know that Catholic education was the original private school? Yes, Parochial is a Catholic school, but it is so much more than just a Catholic school. It's a private school with a presence on Monte Sano Ave for over one hundred years. Fourth generation families are sending their children to Parochial. Fourth generation-- think about that for a second... That would be sending my daughter to where both my mother and grandmother attended. Not only is that something amazing, that speaks volumes to the kind of ability and testimony that people who graduate and move on come back to realize and remember-- the little bricks at the very beginning have to be a solid foundation for the formative years of high school, college, and beyond.

Sure, most of the students at Parochial are Catholic- but not all of them.
Sure we teach about the saints and Mary- but there's a lot more to a faith-based education than those two parts of our faith.

There's an open house tomorrow night at the little school on Monte Sano Ave. What was once Mount St. Joseph's is now St. Mary on the Hill- a school that has been raising children for over one hundred years. My grandfather's sisters learned how to read and write where my daughter is currently doing the same.

Let me be the one to personally invite you to see what kind of amazing can happen when you set aside what everyone else is doing, how your family believes and what that lady with the prodigy child going to Blah Blah Elementary is doing and see what can happen when YOU look at what WE have to offer.

It's not for everyone, our principal will be the first to say that- and I love that his attitude is such. But, it might be for you, and you won't know unless you come look.

Oh, and no one speaks Mandarin- as far as I know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This so touches my heart! Our one and only was a product of Catholic school. Her high school years were spent at the best school in the city. It was an all girls Catholic, uniforms and the whole nine yards. The saving grace was that it was next door to the all boys Jesuit high school. The grade school was one that I attended along with my two brothers. Her high school was attended my her grandmother, great aunt and myself. So, with that being said, I totally understand what you are saying about history in a school, and I, love it. I am such a lover of Catholic education, there is nothing at all like it. The reward of sending her to these school, along with the religion bonus is that she herself will send her children down the Catholic road.
So, good job Mrs. Cagle! I hope I get to hear more Catholic school stories, I miss them more then you can imagine!