After getting the kids fastened and settled with books in their car seats, I drove off not anticipating the next moment. That's how most of our days are. Transitioning from one to the next. This evening, we had library books due and a 40% off coupon from Half-Price books burning in my pocket. Aaron, a natural big kid at heart, loves to make a production out of good news - for the sole reason that he just loves to make people happy. I noticed him grinning from the corner of my eye as I was driving out of our neighborhood. He flashed an envelope that he had picked up from the mailbox on his way out the door.
"Guess what?" he said, while dangling fate. It was a letter from The da Vinci School - where Ava had attended camp in June and anticipates in returning this fall for "school." This letter would dictate whether or not she's been accepted. This letter will determine a year's worth of comings and goings. I turned the wheel to pull over, but didn't make it. I just pressed on the brakes, turned to him, and teasingly smacked his arms to hurry up. "Open it, open it, open it" I managed to sound out. But he took his time - trying to be civil about opening a letter - even though I know inside he wanted to rip it open and scream like a girl at a New Kids on the Block concert. Ava & Noah in their usual "yeah we're going shopping" attitudes sat patiently listening to Ava's favorite soundtrack from The Sound of Music with no idea what kind of mischief their parents were up to.
We both scanned the first page fast, our eyes looking for that one word that beckons squeals. Unfortunately, our greeting didn't read "congratulations!" but instead, "As you know..." Aaron flipped to the second page where a hand written note from the director informed us that too many siblings have enrolled into the program this year and that she hopes they may consider Ava for placement in '09-'10.
Aaron grabbed my face with both hands - kissed it - and with the most sincere voice apologized on behalf of the school. We both spun a few times in our seats - letting the wave of parental anxiety pass us.
I allowed myself to get disappointed, upset - and mostly, feel guilty for not having done more [like placing her on other waiting lists]. The letter in our hands crushed our hearts a tiny bit. Because it was just yesterday at breakfast when I was telling her about 2 events I had planned for her and I to do together in the coming weeks. "Won't that be fun Ava?" I asked knowing what her response would be. Except, she paralyzed me with, "... and Ava goes to school..."
Ava goes to school. Like Pinocchio, Ava is also a little adventurer who desperately wants to see the world - and be like all the other 2 year olds - no matter how much I want to hold onto her and beg her not to grow up so fast. While consumed with all this parental guilt, the song Maria played in the background, and all of a sudden I am smiling.
"How do you hold a moon beam in your hand?" sang the chorus. A moon beam! What an incredible way to describe our blessings. So how do you? How do you hold onto lights destined for the skies?
Our little moon beams, bursts of energy we instinctly know we can't have all to ourselves - but instead be guided by their glittering rays they leave behind when they are ready to go.
Ava has many years of schooling ahead of her - her not attending this year is a blessing for all of us. For starters, I'll get to teach, create, play, and learn with her first through these toddler years. While camp first introduced her to rocket ships - I'm already on the plight of teaching her about the solar system! And I'm already thinking of the calendar year and how I can prepare themes for each month so that we can coordinate art projects and field trips around town...
And while the "siblings" of current da Vinci students may have earned themselves seats this school year- there is one particular sibling I know, sweet 1 yr old Noah, that has earned himself the best seat in the house...
... on top of a moon beam.