I suppose all parents approach high school with a little fear and apprehension for their children. Will they fit in? Will they be safe? Will they succeed? My fears were a bit more extreme than that. I had this overwhelming need to find a different school for my son. I knew I absolutely couldn't send him to the local high school. And yet there were practicalities to think of. Could I drive him to a different school every day? Would it be any better?
Now I am not a nervous mother. I'm the perfect mother for a boy. Ok, maybe not perfect, but I can handle skinned knees and bloody noses. I know that no toy I buy is more exciting than the next latest and greatest power tool. I know that they like to take things apart to see how they work and that I will get teased for crying when I watch sad movies and commercials. I know that they are tough and strong and that the thing they love the most, when no one else is around, is to hang out and snuggle with mom. So I was kind of shocked when I started freaking about what high school to send him to when he was barely in the seventh grade.
And so I looked. And I asked. And I researched. And I prayed.
And I prayed.
And I prayed.
I don't really know what first sparked my interest in River Valley. I think it was Jill. She was one of the girls in the class I taught at church. All I knew was that she went to a different kind of school. I asked her to tell me about it. Then I looked it up on the internet. I talked to her mom. I asked Jill what she liked about it. I asked her if she felt she missed out on the typical high school experience. And I prayed.
Finally it was time to attend the open house and put Joshua on the waiting list. I went knowing that he might not want to do this. He might not want to leave his friends. As we sat through the open house I became more and more excited. This is it. This is where he belongs. I kept looking at him, hoping he felt it too. "Well, I said? Do you want to try? Do you want to put your name in the lottery?" He handed me the paper. I filled it out. He turned it in.
We were 12th on the list and they had four openings. It was only a matter of time. He would get in, but he might have to start at the local high school and move in the middle of the year. But I knew. I knew in my heart that it would all work out. We got our call one week before school started. He was in.
It has already been an amazing experience. He has learned and grown so much this year. He is confident. He is taking pride in his work. He has adjusted well to the independent study. He fits in and has tons of friends. And I do not have that nagging fear in my heart.
Today I got an email from the school. They have just been selected as one of California's Distinguished Schools for 2005.
Today I am extremely grateful that I am a Mom; that I have nagging fears; that I know how to pray.
Congratulations River Valley High School! And thank you for providing an alternative for our children.