The first time I heard about the preschool application process was after an exercise class – one of my first since the birth of my first daughter – time to shed those pregnancy pounds! There was a group of moms there; moms I didn’t know; moms who had become a community though their toddlers; something I had not yet done.
For context, let me just say I was clueless on the whole parenting thing. I mean, we all are, right? But this was clue-less, clueless. I hadn’t given much thought to parenthood other than being thrilled to be having a baby. Weeks earlier I had been insanely tying up loose ends in preparation for an extended maternity leave. For me, parenthood came a bit later, after a lot of focus on a heavy corporate career. All my close friends had gone down the baby road much earlier and had long ago high-tailed it to the burbs. So, I was clueless and without much of a parent-to-parent support system in the city. Anyway…
It was summer and those moms at the gym were talking about starting the preschool application process that fall. I remember them naming this school and that school – all places I had never heard of. One had friends who had “been through it” and seemed to know which schools were “impossible” to get into versus which were total luck with a lottery selection process. Another used the word pedagogical (pedagogical! in a casual conversation!) describing some method of teaching. They talked about school fairs and application deadlines. One said she had started contacting schools for information when her child was still in the womb…because she had a friend whose son didn’t get into any of the schools on their wish list. As I gathered my things and finished up my eavesdropping, I whispered to myself in my head “…are they SERIOUS?” But secretly I also felt a pang of panic. I was relieved that those days were still in the distant future for me.
Fast-forward two (of the fastest) years of life later, our family embarked on our own road to preschool.
About the Author: Anny Gary is a happily married proud mama to two girls – ages 8 and 5 – who keep her running all over town to school, dance, gymnastics, theater, swimming, art classes and social activities. She serves on a variety of boards with several leadership positions. In her spare time, she works as an independent consultant with an emphasis on marketing and management. Oh, and she loves to write.