I am good at a lot of things, but I think my top two skills are:

A.    Borrowing trouble
B.    Over-researching

The Internet is a very helpful tool for both of these activities.

And so, way before Ruby was preschool age – and quite possibly even before I was pregnant – I started researching school options in New Orleans. I looked at private schools: Most were so expensive as to be completely out of my price range; Waldorf was affordable but too rigid for my less-than-stellar parenting (no television just isn’t realistic for me, even though I think it’s a noble goal). As for public schools and charters, Audubon was hard to get into (you have 1 in 1,000 odds, and that’s if you submit all of your paperwork and attend the required meetings). Lusher didn’t have pre-K. Hynes was gifted-only. In other words, I have been obsessing about pre-K for a very long time. I know the pre-K scene pretty well.

But last year at Bayou Boogaloo, I was surprised and excited to see a booth for a new school called Morris Jeff. I spoke with the parents manning the booth that day and walked away with a brochure, a magnet and a huge sense of optimism.

I clearly wasn’t the only one excited. When the school opened its doors this past August, it got some great coverage from local media and even NPR. And by the time the application date rolled around in January, there was an overnight line to apply. Because I was snowed in in Chicago, my mom stood in line for me, from about 4 p.m. until 8 a.m. in 30-degree weather. Ruby was No. 2.

Anyway, I was thrilled to get her official acceptance letter last week. I am very much looking forward to the next big step in Ruby’s development, to being a part of the school community, to having a chance to support and participate in public education in the city without feeling like I’m taking a risk on my daughter’s education.

Of course, with the question of where she will attend school settled, I’ve moved on to obsessing about her teachers (they all look like awesome, fascinating, diverse, creative people), the uniforms (I’ve already ordered them), the supply list (will she need a new blanket for naptime, or can she use the same nap mat she’s used the past few years at her current day care?), the lunch menu (would she rather bring her lunch?), the after-care situation, volunteer opportunities, the school fair, fundraising …

Some days, I think I need to calm down and develop a hobby more productive than worrying. Other days, I think this is just part of parenting. The truth, though, is probably just that this is a part of parenting for me. Other parents worry far less and have great kids; I am just wired to do exhaustive and unnecessary research on all facets of my life.

Despite my intensive Googling, though, I am still worried (of course) about the transition from a wonderful day care where she’s been since we moved here when she was just a year old to a “big kid” school. So if any more seasoned moms and dads out there have any advice, I would, as always, welcome it in the comments.