So this morning we woke up with a bit of determination. Hazel had a meeting planned with someone from the international school her uncle asked her to check out. Right now his son is going to a school in Hong Kong, and apparently he does very well in his academic studies. He is currently taking French classes, but he would like to study French in France. So we were off to an area around Marseilles starting out from Aix on a shortbus. Well, it was a very short bus, kinda cute.  Anyways we traveled for a while, and finally came closer to where Hazel had approximate directions for. It was an international school, and she described this to the driver, asking him to let us off there, so after a while of traveling through some really nice, green neighborhoods reminiscent of Illinois, we came to the stop, got off and walked towards the school…  however, it took us a while to figure out that it was the wrong one. heh. So we were late for the meeting, and Hazel was freaking out, so we got directions from someone inside that school that told us where it miiiight be. So we started walking back towards the town, over an interstate, traffic circles, where finally the woman with whom Hazel was supposed to meet called her cell phone. So after describing where we were, the woman laughed and said we were not close. Very polite of her, she offered to come get us or give us directions to try one last time, walking. I thought Hazel was going to suck it up and try to walk (she has a lot of pride and doesn’t like to be an inconvenience) but thank god she obliged. I feel like such a wimp around her sometimes, ha ha. So The woman pulls up to us in a traffic circle (looking back on it now, methinks we should have moved away from a traffic circle to be picked up from. ha.) and is very polite, even to me whom she needn’t try to impress. The dirt road winded around for a while through the french countryside before arriving at the school. The school seemed new, yet full of character – something that I don’t usually see so quickly. The woman gave us a tour of the facilities, and knew many of the students by name – there were certainly not as many as my high school had. However, during the visit I was able to see the appeal of a private school, when compared to a public high school. The visit really made me start to think about how I would raise my children. Schooling affects a certain amount of what the child learns (and aside from actual educational material). I made a few mental notes that day based on what I saw, experienced. I don’t think I would homeschool my children, I believe that they need more structure and complexities, interaction with others (social intelligence of sorts). Basically, I couldn’t give them everything they needed. Public school can be harsh sometimes – some people have very good experiences, some have some really bad character-altering experiences. I’ve seen some people change so drastically because as children they soak in so much – good and bad and all the in between. They are so easily influenced without always having the experience to understand everything they are taking in. I know, it is a risk that every parent has to take, and you can only do so much… and I know that it will better prepare them for the world and the complexities of it.  However this… the idea of a sort of “in-between” school, it has its upsides and downs. For one, it is a great learning experience to have a great ratio of teachers to students to help foster creativity and focus. They have a lot of choices for extra-curricular activities and teachers who won’t have too much stress because they are overloaded with students teaching the same thing to five different classes a day. I have seen kids be able to form tighter-knit groups, too. Although some of the children who attend private schools tend to rebel against their parents (sometimes the situation at home is not the best, therefore they act out in ways meant to attract attention, not always the good kind)… and if my children were to become friends with other children who rebelled, etc… they might get into some not-so-great activities or take on some unfortunate characteristics. The funny thing, or maybe ironic? is that you never know how things will turn out – sometimes you worry for nothing. Sometimes a child might have a very grounded moral, or clear-minded personality to begin with that they can carry with them throughout their whole lives, sometimes. Then again, sometimes people don’t get rounded out as they get older, more mature- they can get worse, further down the road that you can’t follow… that others can’t follow. And that must be one of the worst situations… but you know, that’s stepping waaaaay ahead of everything. Of course any loving parent wants the best for their child, but I believe that you have to be able to know when to take a step back, when to let them make their own decisions, and when to play a part in them … but most of all, to just be as loving and supporting (knowledge, experience, actions, character, morals) as you can and know how to accept… many things. Change. Wow. Watching your children throughout all the stages of their lives. That will be a very wonderful part of my life, when it’s time.  So… Here’s to the future, come what may.

P.S.     I’m totally gonna rock those maternity clothes.