I have been pondering how I want to respond when life does not meet me in the way I desire. How do I respond to being told, “No”? Today I had the unpleasant experience of visiting the San Francisco Department of Education. They advertise that they are, “Leading the world in education.” My son pointed out this banner prominently displayed and he walked proudly into the building with a peppy step and beaming energy.
Two hours later, he exited with his head down, and a heavy feeling of dejection. He had just been informed that although attending three years of spanish immersion school may have given him the confidence to speak Spanish in Spain, it did not sufficiently qualifty him to attend a San Francisco public immersion school. The majority (2/3) of these slots were reserved for native speakers, and the rest for children who were already completely fluent. I felt like a fiercely protective tiger mother. My body filled with heat and adrenaline as I immediately felt both anger toward the injustice of this system and a very strong wave of protection toward my sensitive 7 year old as the counselor callously informed that he was not eligible for the education he enthusiastically sought.
Outside her door, I attempted to counter the pain of the blow by embracing him with motherly love. I let him know that I was proud of him for his interest in learning Spanish. I told him he was brave to take the foreign language exam. I explained that I understood both his disappointment and his passion for learning languages. As his mother, I promised him that we would find another way to make this happen for him. I asked him if he trusted me, and as I hugged him, I felt his body say, “Yes,” before his voice. (Cont)