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School Choice

A week or so ago I got a nice little form letter in the mail from my church. As I'm pretty involved in my church and I figured it was a reminder about something I was already knew about, I almost didn't look at it, nearly threw it away. But then I saw that it was from the principal of the parish school, and HER reminders were about open houses, enrollment deadlines, and financial aid. I sat down, read the entire thing, and then I considered throwing up or passing out, either one would do. 

And then this morning! When the preschool teacher brought Jack to the car after school? Molly was all chipper and friendly and telling the preschool teacher that "I wearing my PINK COAT." The preschool teacher, because she is a preschool teacher, engaged my two-year-old in a very involved conversation about the pink coat, then turned to me and said, "Is she in a school?"

"Oh, no," I said, thinking of my wonderful morning with just Molly at the coffee shop eating treats and Christmas shopping at the mall. 

"Well," said the preschool teacher, "SHE SURE SEEMS READY!"

(emphasis mine)

And now I'm all WTH UNIVERSE! Must I think about this ALREADY?

Apparently I do. It's a hot topic amongst us moms of preschoolers in the city, and I have to tell you it stresses me the heck out. There are so many factors involved in where my three-year-old might end up in school (a full year and a half from now, and apparently I am LATE to the stressing) and I get so overwhelmed I just decide not to think about it. And for a neurotic overthinker like myself, this is drastic indeed. 

We are currently renting a house, hoping to buy The House We'll Grow Old In this summer, when my husband is finished with his masters program. I've been handwringing over this upcoming decision forEVER, and then a few months ago I realized I had to throw "school districts" into my already convoluted mix of requirements and deal breakers. We have to chew over everything from Catholic school vs. public, to suburbs vs. city, to walking vs. bussing. And of course, I have yet to land on The Ideal Situation. Something will have to give. 

I am dying to know how other people decided these things. I'm sure for some of you, you live next to the Perfect Elementary School and you walk your child there every day and it's all sunshine and roses and YAY FOR YOU. But for others, maybe you had to figure out boundary lines and lotteries and what was your most important thing? Because there are days when I want to ditch it all and move to a subdivision in the highest rated school district, and others where I think my kids will be just fine where we are. Anybody have a crystal ball to loan me?