One morning last week after getting the kids off to school, I took my daughter’s completed high school applications to the two private schools she’s considering for next year. Naturally, one is her first choice and the other is a back-up. She had to write an essay for each, describing why she wanted to start her freshman year in their hallowed halls. She wrote beautiful essays – if I do say so myself – and I believe she’d be an excellent candidate for either school.
But she might end up with a rejection letter. Or two.
My heart breaks a little at the possibility. I’ve had almost fifty years to build up a hide that’s tough enough to deal with rejection. I’ve gotten turned down for jobs and for schools. I’ve auditioned for rock bands that didn’t hire me. Heck, for the last few years I’ve called myself a writer. If that doesn’t teach you about rejection, nothing will. I know that when it happens, I’m going to feel sad for a couple minutes or a couple hours or a couple days, and then life will go on.
My daughter turns fourteen in just about a month. She’s played for no-cut sports teams and sung with audition-free choirs. Other than the bumps and bruises that go along with being a middle school girl, she has very little experience with getting turned down for something she really wants. I just hope she doesn’t have to learn this lesson till she’s a little older.
I might be more nervous than she is, because I KNOW what disappointment feels like. It sucks, but it makes you stronger. She should hear from both schools about the same time as her birthday. We’ve got a back-up to the back-up plan if the worst happens, but at her party I want to hear an excited bunch of girls talking about how they all got into the schools they wanted, my daughter included. And if you’ve got a minute, send some positive energy our way.