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School Choice Conclusion: The Short Version

My children will be attending Mills College Children's School in the fall.

The long version is...something. I wrote it up and it was a novel, the old-time kind where the story starts back with my father when he was in high school. The short version of the long version is that there was a paperwork hiccup to the financial aid process that only got resolved, um, today.

But I am really happy.

Simone is, too: "Mommy, remember the school with the colored dots on the rug and the giraffe [growth chart] on the wall? Can that be my school, Mommy?" As it turns out, yes.

And let's not mention the part where they're going to revise their database to accommodate three parents, or where they want to have a discussion with me about how best to support Simone's gender expression. "We have some ideas if you'd like us to share them with you..."

Now the only challenge left is a) making the deposit :) and b) getting them to school every day! I think it's time to learn to drive. Also, hello 57 bus! We are going to be good friends.


Well, that's exciting! I like that their response to the three parents isn't "choose two, please," but "We'll figure out how to accomodate that."

Also, the gender thing. I was randomly thinking about this earlier, when I was thinking how nice it was that you were simply following her lead on it and not trying to make her fit into somebody else's "transgender" box. And then I was looking forward to seeing how she develops over time . . .

In the short version, I left out the part where I burst into tears, honest to God wracking sobs, after I toured Mills back in the fall because it was everything I wanted in an elementary school and I thought there was no way we could afford it. (It was the only private school I even considered.) They gave me an offer where the amount I am paying the preschool now --my little budget part-time preschool -- is the amount I will be paying in tuition next year. Basically, they met my budget. They did this after the initial deadline (Friday) and thus after they will have made their initial financial aid offers to everyone else. My experiences with private education have been...so not like this. I'm baffled and grateful.

I'm trying very hard not to fit Simone into any boxes, and to give her the tools to defend her choices around gender to her own satisfaction. It is much fun to watch her work out what she wants and needs over time, which is why I talk about it a lot. I mean, it is also anxiety-producing, but so is a lot of parenting. But to have the explicit support of the school is just such a relief.

Yes, yes, and yes.

And if you ever need to hear somebody say "hold on, you're doing it right," about following Simone's lead, contact me. I will say it over and over while you fend off the well-meaning of every type.
That is so wonderful.

. . .

All of this is bringing tears of joy to my eyes. Seriously. So many feels.

My parents still don't understand my gender, despite years of conversations and tears. Whoever Simone and April decide to be, it's so healing to know that their 3 parents are behind them all the way.

A school that's on the side of a child's personal growth? This shouldn't be such a rare and precious thing. But it is. And I'm so glad your children get to go there.
Wonderful news. As a deeply involved, present at his birth, 2-3-nights-a-week-staying-over godmother to my best friend's son, I'm particularly touched by their willingness to accept three parents. Congratulations for successfully making your way through what sounds like a labyrinth of frustration and anxiety-inducing processes.
Thank you :)
Congrats on making the decision, and being happy with it. Must be a good feeling!

It boggles my mind that tuition for a preschool can be as much as (or more than!) I pay for graduate school each year. (and I'm so happy they met your budget, which is awesome.) I guess we're lucky to live in Alameda, hopefully the public schools will stay good by the time we've got a kid old enough to attend one!

Edited at 2013-03-20 05:42 am (UTC)
I fully expected to be in OUSD and I was really impressed with several schools I saw during my school tour phase. I have been encouraging tons of parents to give them a second and third look. I'm sure Alameda schools are great too. But I also love experimental curricula and I think the kids will make good lab rats :)
Great news! So glad you love the school and that the school was able to offer the right amount of financial aid.
Congrats to all!
Good news all round!
Totally irrelevant, but thinking of Mills College brings back the scent of eucalyptus. I lived very close on Laird Avenue in the late sixties, soon after college and with my first child. I took long walks around the campus with him, and had a babysitter who was a student there. I even sang with their chapel choir for a little while. I'm not sure whether living near Mills helped or slowed my transition from identifying as a college student to accepting grown-up motherhood, but I do feel some nostalgia.
I'm so glad this has worked out so well.
I love this for all of you!