So last night I dragged a comb through my hair, added some blusher, and hoped I looked alive enough to head to parent orientation night at Henry's school.
I was running late, and so hustled in right before his teacher started. I had to do the quick loop around the room to find Hank's desk, and then wedge myself onto his little chair. Right away, I got a good feeling from his teacher. And that's the thing with our experience with this school. At his old school, every time we went there, I left feeling:
"I just...don't know about this."
Whereas here, I always feel:
It's just so warm and friendly at his new school, and I feel like they place importance on the right things. Catholic values, strong language arts, math, science, and social studies curriculum, and good old-fashioned penmanship. At the other school, there were lots of district policies on everything from nutrition to pretend play that we had to be made aware of and plenty of emphasis on state testing scores.
Right away in Hank's classroom, I felt happy. Crucifix on the wall, pictures of saints pinned up, it felt very Catholic and nurturing. His teacher was super friendly, very jovial and happy-go-lucky. She's been teaching a long time, although she's new to Hank's school. She had a quick presentation, and then everybody started talking amongst themselves.
Immediately, the mother next to me started chatting with me. I had noticed that she was chatty during the teachers' presentation; definitely a question asker. :) But very nice.
"So. Samantha comes home every day and just talks and talks about Henry."
Ah ha. I knew there was more to Hank's school story than met the eye:
"Hi Honey! How was school today?!"
"What did you do today?"
"Didn't you have..."
So see. Little girls talk to him. This we hear nothing about. Anyway, we continue with the chatty mom:
"Oh yes, she tells me about Henry all the time. She seems to really like it here."
As we were talking, I noticed that little Samantha's desk had a sparkly Barbie pencil case neatly tucked into her desk, whereas Henry's plain plastic one was already broken. Some things are really predictable.
Anyway, I chatted with this mom for a bit more. Turns out they are Presbyterian, not Catholic, but they didn't like her previous public school, and are very happy that they switched. I learned all sorts of interesting details about all this. I think that there are quite a few people around here who are non-Catholic but use the Catholic schools. I'm always interested to learn their story.
Before I left, I checked out Henry's art work up on the wall and signed up for a parent/teacher conference next month. He had an adorable entry into the class project of writing a sentence that begins with "I am special because..." Henry's indicated that he was special "because God made me." An adorable, pious answer. Somehow I'm thinking he didn't come up with this answer all on his own, but it's precious all the same.