published April 12, The Standard
I was on a bus one morning in
February when we got the news that my 12-year-old son had not been admitted to the arts high school he had applied to.
He was home sick that morning
while I was away on an errand, attending to other, as I felt then, more pressing things. But I remembered results should have been released at that times so I called the school and I was advised to check the Web site for the names of the passers.
I chatted the boy up on
Facebook and told him to go to the site. After a while he sent me screen shots in succession -- the name of the six passers to the music track, out of the 36 from all over the country from all other art fields, who made it.
His name was not one of those.
The last post was an emoji -- a sad face -- and this from a boy who very rarely resorts to emojis.
Over the next few days we
tried to make sense of the disappointing news. I had been so confident he would pass. I was with him when he went for auditions last December. I saw him check out YouTube clips of the school facilities, its students and alumni, and I heard him practice his violin even to the wee hours of the morning. We had been imaging his life in boarding school -- academics in the morning, a rather long lunch break, and then violin lessons from the country’s best for the rest of the afternoon. With a routine like this, who would not be a virtuoso?
In the end I concluded that
the opportunity must not have been meant for him, that perhaps this was his education -- wanting something so bad and not getting it. I thought,perhaps, he needed to gain more maturity and discipline. After all, as a kid, he was not a model straight-A student. I felt he could be doing better given his innate talent, but I did not push him. I was devising ways instead to make him push himself.
I treated the boy to pizza
and explained to him that there might be other plans for him, and he could still be an orchestra member one day even if he did not go to that prestigious government high school.
I, the perennial stage mother
and number one cheerleader, became resigned to the fact and moved on.
The following day the boy
asked if I could call the school and ask why he failed. He wanted to know whether it was in the audition or the IQ test that he did badly. He also asked me to ask the school if there were any other way we could try to get in. Perhaps he could audition again this year; he would not mind “wasting” one year. Getting in would be worth it.
I heeded his request and sent
an email. I asked where we might have been inadequate so that we may improve on it. I did not expect to get a reply. But they did -- we were on the waitlist! Apparently, some slots do not get filled; we just needed to hang on for a few more weeks.
Those next few weeks were, as
any other spent in waiting, excruciating. Sometimes life takes over and you forget about it; at other times you wish there was something you could do to get closer to the answers.But there was nothing to do but wait.
The news came Tuesday after
Easter. That morning, a friend asked what had happened to the application and I even grumbled about the suspense. I was in a cab, stuck in traffic and late for a meeting, when I got the text from the school: They had sent the scholarship documents the previous day. I felt like alighting from the cab and dancing in the middle of Congressional Avenue.
The next 24 hours were in a
frenzy. Now that the news had kicked in, really kicked in, and now that I had sent back the letter of acceptance, I am beginning to imagine how different the next few months would be.
The boy is the youngest,
always the one to get picked on,get ordered around, but also smothered with hugs and kisses much to his disgust. He technically should be staying at his older brother’ s room but stays in mine because of the aircon. Every summer all of us stay up late and do our own things , but together in the living room. Needless to say, we are a close knit bunch and now there’s going to be a void in our day-to-day affairs.
When the boy goes to boarding
school in Makiling, we would only be seeing him every other weekend. There he would live on his own, learn how to pick up after himself, spend time with others and learn so much about music and about life in general.
I am thrilled at the
possibilities; the next few years may just be the best, most formative ones for him. We will miss Bunsoy, sure, but you just do not stand in the way of these opportunities.
It will be another round of
waiting: Waiting to see to what kind of musician/student/ person he would become. I can’ t wait for the results of that one.