Monday, September 28, 2009

What are they learning?

My son loves school. And he's lucky to go to a great preschool with the best record in our area. It's close to our house, affordable, and his teachers are often elementary school teachers who choose to work part time to be around for their own children.

What I'm not so crazy about: the culture. When my son attended day care full time at the federal building where my husband works, he had friends from almost every culture and economic background. At his current school, it's so homogenous most the parents live within blocks of each other and even own the same brand of minivan.

Another reminder came today in the mail: an invitation to a designer birthday party. For a five year old. It's all a little crazy. And I worry about the other signs he'll see from these peers in the future. What will he say when we ask him to share a clunker car with his sister while his friends drive newer, fancier cars? Will he expect a cell phone and other status symbols?

I'm proud of the modest upbringing my parents provided. And certainly I had many more advantages than my own parents did growing up. My husband and I feel lucky to pass on even better opportunities to our children. But when's enough, enough?

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