Confessions of a sometimes way-too-intense parent.
We all mean well,
but sometimes we are
the bad driver.
So, here are my apologies for sometimes
being a “bad driver.”
Let’s start with some of those emails I’ve
sent. You know the ones: they start off with
a joke, lead into a couple niceties and then
wham, the directive: snacks can only consist
of sliced organic fruit, no single-use plastic
water bottles and please don’t bring grocery
store cupcakes to class just because it is your
kid’s birthday. Looking back, I might have
been a little preachy as a room mom or coach’s
helper in my vendettas against refined sugar,
excessive packaging and processed food. I’m
sorry to all I offended.
“You’re not the boss of me Kirsty Ellis.” It’s
also about time I apologize to the well-meaning volunteer who happened to be in charge
of collecting the handwritten sheets from
parents proving their 40 hours of mandatory
volunteer efforts. I actually enjoyed making hardtack and helping in the classroom; it
was seeing those two words “volunteer” and
“mandatory” side-by-side that made me snap.
Kirsty, can I treat you to a martini at Buckeye
to put this behind us?
Drop off and pickup line? Yes, a few times
in eight years I probably did drive too fast
through this sacred lane. I’m sorry for the
looks I gave you, Lisa Veto, as you so sweetly
held up that “please slow down” sign. You were
just doing your (volunteer) job. Please join us
at the Buckeye, on me.
In all seriousness, I am grateful to have
raised my kids with the help of this perfectly
imperfect school system, fueled by an army
of dedicated, highly involved parents. As my
oldest daughter heads off to college this fall,
I’d like to raise a glass to all the educators
in the county, then propose another hearty
pour for all the volunteers.
Mimi Towle, Editor
FOR MAN Y PAREN TS throughout he county, September marks the joyful season known as back to school. It’s time to get a new back- pack or deep-clean the old one
and replenish those multisize pockets with
tissues, snacks and water bottles — all the
essentials for getting through a day away from
home. The promise of new friends, new challenges and new teachers has kept our house on
high alert throughout the month of August for
the past 10 years.
In celebration of the thousands of students
from southern Sausalito to northern Novato
heading off for another year, this month’s
issue gives parents a bevy of back-to-school
information. Be sure to check out our eighth
annual Private School Guide, which highlights
more than 160 unique education opportunities, diving into topics like improved lunch
programs and innovative teaching. And in
Currents, Kasia Pawlowska takes a look at how
public schools in Marin are funded. For starters, our 19 districts are supported through
varying amounts of state and federal funds,
parcel taxes and even the state lottery, which
delivered a whopping $665,461 to the Mill
Valley School District last year.
There is another aspect to being a parent
here in Marin I would like to own up to and
shine a light on. Being entrenched for the past
decade or so in a population of strong-willed,
type A personalities deeply devoted to their
offspring, I’ve often joked with friends that I’d
bet on a Marin mama bear over a Manhattan
supermom any day of the week. I myself tend
to sometimes turn a molehill into a mountain.
And I say this with the full understanding that
we all have our moments. It is sort of like the
late George Carlin’s observation that other
drivers are either “idiots” or “maniacs” —
never us. We all mean well, but sometimes we
are the bad driver.