You’ll definitely need a drink for this one.
By some weird twist of fate and a small courtesy of French bureaucracy, I was informed last Thursday that Lara doesn’t in fact have a spot in the public school system as of that moment. But don’t worry, they told me, we are going to work something out. Me, not worry? Obviously the city of Montpellier has not met me. I worry for a living.
Anyhow, come Friday and a few desperate calls to every single private school in Montpellier, as well as several minor breakdowns later, I finally had a spot at a private school downtown and a public school a few minutes from home. Dilemma! Especially since I have zero knowledge of the school system or which schools were considered good and which less so. Not to mention one of the schools was logistically impossible to get to in decent time unless I’d quit my job and became a taxi driver instead. Clearly, I was obviously making a huuuuge deal out of this. Because I excel at stressing out.
Have I mentioned that in between all this I got a call from another school that we really wanted and have been on the waiting list since February telling me they have a spot? Yeah, so in my excitement and thanking God for working it all out in the end, I cancel both spots at the other two schools, only to be called 20 minutes later that there’s been some sort of mix up and they don’t really have a spot?! So, it’s Monday afternoon at this point and still no school (Tuesday is the official first day for public schools by the way).
Did you even understand any of this? Are you still with me? You might want to get another drink.
It all ended up working out late yesterday, we visited another school and had a really good feeling about it, plus it had slides and other outdoor activities, which basically meant Lara’s conditions have been met. She ultimately ended up having two 1st school days, which was interesting but hey, I figured by the time she actually went to her real first day today she was a real pro. She was all like: “What’s up with the crying kids, please! Been there, done that…”
So all in all we all had a great first day. In a way the whole fiasco did me some good because I had a feeling I would just be a bawling mess otherwise. This way I just wanted it to work out and didn’t really have time to think too much about the emotional part of the transition. Lara, as I said, was the very epitome of cool, just hanging out in her new classroom with her puzzles, talking about making new friends and apparently learning Italian. Say what?!
It’s a little tough seeing her grow up like that knowing she’s not my little baby anymore, but at the same time feeling this huge sense of pride at her independence, curiosity and desire to learn new things. I just feel so fortunate and blessed to be able to watch and see her accomplish all these important milestones. It really, really is an amazing thing! Even if I gain a few gray hairs in the process (which I totally did by the way).
I just love her so.
P.S. If you’re confused by this post that’s totally fine. So am I and I lived it. Schools in France are actually pretty awesome. You just have to pay VERY close attention and make sure you fill out every imaginable paper possible + make a few phone calls. The more the better. Also, nothing gets done in the summer and that’s a FACT.