Middle School Feels Like College

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I’m on my way to work (we’re shooting a commercial today) with my coffee in hand and I finally have some peace and quiet to get on my computer with no interruptions. Last night, after dropping my youngest off at dance class and organizing a ride for my 9-year-old to get to soccer practice, I sat down at my daughter’s basketball game and took a big, deep breath.

The mommy chatter amongst all of us was basically the same.  We’re all in stress mode preparing for the middle school application process, which by the way is as difficult as applying for college and feels just as important because it’s your child’s life!  

I have three school’s worth of open houses, meetings for my daughter and summaries to write.  There is loads of paperwork – from describing my child in essay form, to brag letters and educational analysis – the list goes on and on.

It has been quite an experience.  I think my kids are talented, smart and super capable of so many things.  But stand-up, charitable and honorable people, I’m still working on, lol!

I wonder how many parents BS their way through the whole process with their referral letters, donations, and empty promises.  Some of these schools put so much pressure on the kids to be “The Best” and get into the next “Best School,” that I often wonder what the self-esteem levels are like for these children. Yes, I said “children” – my daughter is only in 6th grade.  It’s important to me that my kids get a great education, but I also want them to enjoy the process, develop their own abstract ways of thinking, make friends from all walks of life, screw up, learn from their mistakes and have the confidence to maneuver through the quicksand in a creative enough way to survive.

I think there are so many important life lessons to be learned at this tender age, and I hope and pray my daughter will be well-rounded in addition to being super smart.  The good news for her is that I know she will be fine wherever she lands because she is truly a great student and a self-motivator… but jeez, the application experience is a LOT of pressure for all! Hours of homework to prep for the ISEE tests in addition to her usual school assignments.  Prep tests on the weekends, and the big one (the one that counts, the one that every kid is freaking about) is thankfully just three weeks away. Trust me, a stressed-out nervous tween can take on a whole new personality.  I wish whoever took over my daughter’s body would get the hell out now!!!

I think as parents we are supposed to be mentors – guides if you will – and often partners.  But I have a child who often does not value the possibility of that relationship, so I am frustrated trying to find ways to make the most of this hectic time.

I’m also working on Rain’s application for kindergarten at the same time.  The LA area is super tough; there are too many kids and not enough room.  Thank God Neriah and Sierra have paved the way for her! She should be a shoe-in.

My assignment for today is to write a brag letter about my daughter and myself.  How awkward. It’s the one quality I despise in people, and now I have to do it for myself!!! Yuk!  The last thing I’d like to think about today is me. 

Don’t they know that at the end of every day spent taking care of everyone else, there is no time to sit and write a self-analysis doc?!

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