Remember back in April when we contemplated sending Curly and Reg to Catholic high school?
FRIENDS: When Reg admitted that he doesn't really have friends at our high school (aka HS) and he'd consider switching, we ended up down a totally different path, unrelated to basketball.
The lack of friends wasn't a total shock to us, but it was hard to hear him vocalize it.
Unrelated: How cute are these pies from
the 4th? I will share the baking fail that
happened prior to this in an upcoming
post. Um, and these are no-bake pies.
Reg needed to find a new group to hang with in high school. With most of his freshman year spent on zoom, he didn't meet a lot of kids.
Then he found a group of kids to hang out with the summer before his sophomore year. They came over regularly. In the fall this group of about 6 girls and 6 guys all paired off and started dating. Reg was the odd man out, and the couples decided to hang out with each other because they liked to cuddle and watch movies. What now?
In the spring, I asked Reg if the couples had split up. Seeing as they were all sophomores in high school, I was betting that their relationships weren't solid.
Reg: MOST DID BREAK UP. BUT I KINDA FIGURED OUT THAT THE GUYS THINK THEY'RE REALLY COOL. LIKE THEY THINK THEY ARE HOT STUFF. I DON'T WANNA HANG WITH THEM.
He isn't alone. None of my kids have ever gravitated to what is considered 'the cool' or 'the popular' crowd. Too much drama and egos, etc. I'm grateful that my kids see it that way and don't try to conform.
Because Reg played varsity basketball, he hung out with guys that were juniors on the b-ball team. He admitted to me back in April that those guys weren't always nice to him. At lunch one day, they wouldn't let him sit at their table.
I found out that there is a table of sophomores that Reg could sit with, but there's a troublemaking kid at that table. We'll call him JT (just trouble).
TROUBLE: JT bought LSD when he was in 8th grade. He went to a different junior high, so we didn't know him. When his dad discovered him on LSD, JT ran and fell over a balcony. He landed on his head. He ended up losing a tennis ball portion of his brain.
Incredibly sad. Mini played tennis with JT's sister, who told Mini the story, admitting that JT has changed so much since the accident.
JT has lost all impulse control. He does and says whatever he thinks. Reg sees his behavior as problematic, but most of the boys their age find him downright hilarious. He'll do ANYTHING.
When I described the situation to a friend, Jess, who teaches at the school, she was blown away. Jess' teacher friend must've had JT in her advanced class, because she experienced exactly what I was describing. The school isn't allowed, or isn't compelled to share with teachers what this kid's background is, so this teacher spent the school year finding him insanely disruptive in her honors class.
SMALL CLASS: In my communications with Reg's school counselor, I learned that Reg's class is only about 250 kids. Most of the classes at HS are around 350. Mini's class was almost 400. Ed urges us to leave Reg at HS, thinking you don't really make your friend group until the end of sophomore year, and because of covid, Reg just finished his freshman year.
I then asked Ed if he felt like he'd still have been able to find a group of kids to hang out with, IF his class had been 100 kids shy of a normal class. He admitted that he wasn't sure.
IS FERRIS ALIVE: In May, Reg opened his mouth and told a kid that he was thinking about transferring to another school. Well, it was like we were acting out Ferris Bueller. Mini's phone blew up: IS IS TRUE? IS REG LEAVING SCHOOL? Reg, Mini, Coach, and I were grilled at every turn. The guy who has been given the varsity b-ball position pulled Reg aside, chatting with him for 15 minutes basically begging him not to go. Reg missed part of class while this guy tried to get to the root of things.
I'd suggested to Reg, DON'T SAY IT'S BECAUSE OF HIS COACHING. (we don't consider him varsity coach material, he doesn't have a b-ball background) SAY YOUR PARENTS MIGHT WANT YOU TO DRIVE TO THAT SCHOOL IN ORDER TO GET CURLY THERE.
Reg did admit to the coach that the older kids were sometimes giving him a hard time.
The coach: OH, I GET THAT. THEY'RE JEALOUS BECAUSE YOU PLAY AND THEY SIT ON THE BENCH. SAME THING HAPPENES TO ME. THE TEACHERS HERE ARE JEALOUS BECAUSE SO MANY OF THE STUDENTS LIKE ME AND I HAVE A GOOD REPOIRE WITH THEM.
What in the actual hell? I know this guy has a screw missing, but this was mind blowing.
During summer league, a mom asked me if it was true that Reg might transfer. I explained without going into too much detail because her son was at the lunch table where Reg was given a hard time.
She asked me if kids were not being nice to him. I admitted that was part of the issue, but I told her not to say anything. At the next game though, she admitted that they'd had a family meeting. She said she and her husband wanted to know if their son was not sticking up for Reg. The kid admitted that he was NOT. The mom told him that sitting back and doing nothing when this other kid is constantly telling Reg "all you have going for you is basketball" is just as bad as being the bully.
She also told me that her son said that Reg can act immature at times. This doesn't surprise me. That can happen when you hang with kids older than you. I think the year being in school on zoom didn't help. I also wonder if Reg tried to emulate his very funny older brother, Tank. If it doesn't come naturally to you, but you assume that you 'have it' - then that can get annoying.
Her kid now understands that he can't let that crap happen, and that the conversation was not to leave their kitchen table. I didn't want her to confront her kid, but I honestly think she handled it really well.
Still, we'd like Reg to have friends that are his age. He does really like a few kids who are a year younger than him, so if he stays then he will have a few older kids, assuming they treat him better, and a few kids who are younger.
DISTANCE: The distance is one of the hardest things to get past. Mini was just in a car accident. It makes me nervous to think of Reg driving on two expressways and then another road. It has been known to snow here in Chicago.
Their friends would be far from our house too.
CATHOLIC: If we'd been successful at growing a money tree in our yard, we would've opted to send all of our kids to Catholic high school. They do like to eat though, and we couldn't have afforded both.
Both Coach and I feel strongly that the kids would really benefit from a Catholic education. There are other schools that are closer. One is too rich for our blood. Another, where Reg's cousin and good friend goes, has a girls' coach who is a tyrant, which wouldn't make that team a good fit for Curly.
WAIVER: I FINALLY got in touch with the boys' coach end of May. He has 10 returning seniors. So, Reg might not play much as a junior if he transfers there. But . . . they don't have as many players who are Reg's age.
The coach explained to me that Reg would need a waiver in order to transfer unless we decide to move near the school. Not moving. If he doesn't get a waiver, he'd have to sit out his junior year season. The more we talked and the more I explained what the story is, the coach felt like Reg would possibly qualify for a waiver.
He said he'd look into the waiver and call me back. Crickets.
CURLY: I consider my kids to be a package deal. They are good friends. I look forward to having them attend the same school. I know that if they go to the Catholic school, they won't be in the same building - but the schools are affiliated.
Curly is adamant that she not go to the Catholic school. I get that she is familiar with HS, but as her parents we also agree that she'd really like the other school once she was there. Three girls on her travel team go to that school. Curly is crazy about them and they are the kind of great kids that we'd love for her to go to school with. She IS going to be on the AAU team with them for the next 4 years, at least.
MONEY: We haven't asked for the bottom line. Do we put the cart before the horse? We'd get a discount for sending two kids. We might get some money off for the basketball playing. Mini just got the Evans, so now we could probably afford it. But Tank, who says I LOVED HS, BUT HE DOESN'T - MOVE HIM, has asked me why I'd consider paying for Catholic high school when we just got this huge tuition weight lifted. He has a point.
SCENARIOS AND QUESTIONS:
What should we do?
Send them both to Catholic school (all boys and all girls - two different buildings)?
Send just Reg (I don't like this idea)? Or send just Curly?
Find out if
A. the bus, that picks up a bit past our house, could make a stop near our home (because it would go past us on the highway) - in which case we'd have to go pick them up every evening (bus only goes one way)?
B. if we can get the waiver?
C. what the tuition would be?
Do we wait another school year in hopes that his schedule will intersect with kids who he can befriend?
Do we just stick with the school that is incredibly convenient, where Curly will most likely start on varsity as a freshman? Reg will have a good coach at his AAU team, so maybe it won't be the end of the world if he doesn't have a great coach for high school. He'll play more at HS than he will at the Catholic high school. We prefer the Catholic education, but the distance might complicate life too much. HS is a good school.