The Acceptance Letter
Not too long ago, I remember sitting in our sunroom when my daughter, who was then a third grader came bounding in, announcing that the letters had arrived letting kids now if they had been accepted into a gifted program for kids entering the fourth grade. I was sure she was going to make it and never expected that she wouldn't get in, but much to our disappointment, a letter never arrived and she was crushed.
Over the next two years, our daughter felt excluded by friends who had made the program and on occasion, made her feel as if she wasn't as smart as them. To make matters worse, the birthday party invitation lists that she was always on, suddenly started drying up. One by one, the kids in the gifted class just removed her from their party lists -- or maybe their moms omitted her name because she was no longer on the class list. Either way, the rejection stung and my daughter was determined to prove everyone wrong. She also joined the softball team so that she could make new friends. During that trying time, the diversion of a new sport was just the medicine she needed to heal the wounds of rejection.
When she was in middle school, our daughter soared academically while she continued to pursue her interest in softball. That is, until the fateful week where she tried out for the school team. Sadly, she didn't make it. The sport that had opened the door for her to find new friends had now shut her out and she felt defeated yet again.
Despite these setbacks, she also made the Junior Honor Society, completely rocked her torah portion at her Bat Mitzvah and most importantly, pursued her love of art. We were always amazed by her work (and not just because we were her mom and dad) and some of her paintings were even featured in the city library. This year, she even designed a wedding dress that literally blew us away and after showing the drawing to Henry Roth, a wedding dress designer, he invited her to assist him and his sister at a trunk show at Kleinfelds. Since she is obsessed with Say Yes to the Dress, our high spirited daughter instinctually knew what would look best on the brides to be and managed to help sell six dresses in six hours!
Fast forward to this week. Over the years, we had heard about a visual arts program at our local high school that was tough to get into but our daughter was determined to make the program. With two rejections under her belt, we cautioned her not to be discouraged if she didn't get in. If she truly loved art then she could pursue it even if they didn't accept her. She continued to work diligently on some amazing pieces of artwork that she submitted as part of the application process.
The day the audition arrived, she was all nerves. When she came home, she told us she thought she had done pretty well with the still life portion of the assignment, but was concerned her freestyle work was not good enough to make the cut. Two weeks passed and finally a letter arrived in the mail. And this time, it was an acceptance letter. We were so thrilled for her that we even captured her reaction on video and trust me when I tell you, nothing beats capturing the excitement and emotion of a child who pursues her passion and achieves a dream.
I have never been more proud of my daughter than at this very moment. While she has experienced rejection early on, she finally got the chance to experience what it feels like to achieve a goal she set out for herself since she was a young girl. The world is her oyster and we are just so thrilled to know that she's going to get the chance to be formally trained in a field that she truly loves with all her heart and soul.
And that fellow Role Mommies and Role Daddies is the stuff that dreams are made of. There is nothing better in life than watching your child succeed while cheering them on every step of the way.