Meg has started JHS.
Which means she now crosses one extra intersection to get to school. Seriously it's a bit of an anti-climactic MAJOR LIFE STEP as there is one ES feeding into one JHS here. So same kids, different building. But she's wearing a uniform for the first time (other than a week at school in Australia) and wearing a skirt five days a week which she hasn't done since... hmmm ever probably.
JHS comes with massive study schedules, piles of homework, far less direct school-parent communication and club activities.
Ahhhhhhh........ club activities.
All through ES Meg was into basketball. We even have a ring in the front yard!
She was dead keen 100% sure she was going to join the basketball club in JHS.
Then she started JHS and found out there is some kind of unwritten rule/ tradition/ peer pressure induced compulsion for the girls' basketball club members to get boy-short haircuts.
Suddenly we were vehemently anti-basketball. Not out of vanity but that Meg hates hair around her face so always has her hair tied back.
I suggested asking her (fabulous and wonderful) homeroom teacher whether this was REALLY a necessity as sometimes these traditions only continue as no one thinks to question them. The teacher agreed that no one can make you cut your hair just for a club BUT that there might be a lot of pressure from the senior girls and she'd support Meg but Meg would need to be strong to stand up for herself. (Isn't that a great balanced and realistic answer, sigh, love this woman!). Anyway, Meg was now off basketball.
So she went to trial lessons at table-tennis.
I wasn't too phased at this stage as I was pretty sure she'd go back to basketball and we'd just deal with the hair thing.
Then she went back to kendo.
Then she went there again.
And I started to worry- hitting each other with sticks while running at each other and screaming???? Seriously????
But she spoke with K (who LIVED for clubs at school) and she spoke with the senior members of the club and she spoke with her homeroom teacher and she decided to join kendo.
And if we joined the village team as well as the school team (along with 95% of the team) we could borrow equipment and wouldn't need to buy it. So we did that.
And Meg's kendo schedule now looks like this:
Tuesday 7:15-7:45 and 4:30-6:30
Wednesday 7:15-7:45 and 7:00-8:00 (village team)
Thursday 7:15-7:45 and 4:30-6:30
Friday 7:15-7:45 and 4:30-6:30
Saturday or Sunday morning 8:00-11:00
Saturday 6:00-8:00 (village team)
And if there's a match on? 7:00am till 4:00pm. And if the match is on a Saturday they then go to the night practice as well.
And of course it cost a lot more than I thought as we need a school team outfit and your own bamboo swords and a team jacket and insurance and kendo PTA fees and and and...
I was seriously worried that she'd get sick of it and want to quit but it's the opposite problem- I've lost the kid to kendo!
And so, here's Meg heading out on a Monday morning:
Kendo armour bag, sword bag, PE uniform and kendo outfit bag and as an afterthought school bag!