Early Saturday morning the two big girls and I hopped out of bed and laced up our running shoes in preparation for a 8:30am race up in Newport News. The beneficiary of the run was the local Catholic school run by 4 Nashville Dominican nuns. Mary and Maggie were signed up for the 3K race, while I was entered in the 8K run. However, the shorter race began 10 minutes after my race, leaving me in a bit of a bind. I approached a nice looking lady surrounded by girls, "Are you running in the 3K?" I asked. "Yes." "Could you do me a huge favor and watch out for my girls?" Of course she agreed and chatted for a bit before I moved up to the starting line.
I did pretty well, 2nd place in the women's Masters category (40+) and found my daughters eating granola bars and begging me to let them attempt the Army's rock climbing wall. After we got back home I noticed that Mary was a funk, refusing to practice the piano and snarling at everyone. It turns out that her brief exposure to Catholic school girls left her jealous and resentful that she didn't go to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, have mountains of girlfriends, and go to classes led by the young, sweet looking nuns. I explained to her, after doing a little internet research, that we couldn't afford to send our children to Catholic school, especially one an hour away, that cost $21,000.
A friend at church consoled me and I again commiserated with Mary that for right now, homeschooling is our only school option. Yes, it is a lovely fantasy that my children could walk to an excellent Catholic school staffed by loyal priests and sisters, filled with merry classmates, just like in the stories in their readers, but that is just not going to happen anytime soon. For now, I need to look harder for other opportunities for Mary to find more friends in our neighborhood and local homeschooling community.