Tales of a Fourth Grade Something

posted Saturday May 28th, 2011

Annabelle slept til 8 yesterday morning.

No, it wasn’t the first day of summer. It was the last day of school. Who’s ever heard of an elementary school that starts at the civilized hour of 8:50 a.m.? Me. And since we live just a few blocks from school, we slipped out of the house at 8:40 most mornings this year. (Which is not to say we didn’t have our fair share of late slips.)

I let her sleep late because Annabelle had cried herself to sleep the night before. The tears started again in the morning, continuing off and on all day. Poor girl. I tried reminding her how scared she was to come to this school — how as a tiny 4 year old she spooked when some big boys (probably fourth graders) played dodge ball a little too close to her, as she and and I waited to fill out her kindergarten registration forms.

I have my share of complaints about this school — tribulations regarding Sophie’s treatment there, and don’t get me started on the PTA and a few of the parents — but as I told the principal today (more like hiccuped, as I fought tears) it’s been the perfect place for Annabelle. In so many ways (for a typical, low maintenance kid) this is the neighborhood school at it’s finest. For Annabelle, the place was home the last five years. Three of those years, she’s had Sophie just down the hall or the stairs.

It’s been a great run, but it’s time to go. The charter arts school is the right place, I know it is, and I think Annabelle knows it is, too. But that didn’t help today, when it was time to say goodbye. After school she cried in her room for a long while, then emerged red-eyed and we headed to a pool party and I watched her play with kids she’s been with since kindergarten. A few are going to the charter school, too, but she’ll leave good friends behind — and equally important, a place where she felt so comfortable.

Maybe a little too comfortable, I thought last night, when I opened her report card and gazed at all the As. I’m prouder of the Os for outstanding effort. Sophie got a bunch of those, too.

Come August, Annabelle will need to be at school — across town — at 7:45. She’ll be back at her old school for events and just to hang out (Sophie will still be there — for the time being, at least) but as Annabelle pointed out to me today, it’ll never be the same.

I had to agree.


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Tags: Filed under: charter school, public school by Amysilverman

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