“Mr. Imbriano, I regret to inform you that we can not admit Antonio.” That’s all I heard. No pleasantries, no details, no rationale, just that Antonio was REJECTED. I was devastated. It was the worst day of my life. Antonio rejected? What were we going to do? How would we be able to carry on? Antonio was not accepted into PRE-SCHOOL!
Yes I know, it’s sounds ridiculous, but we were devastated at the time. I was clearly more of a basket case than Patricia (and when you read on you will see how off the charts ridiculous it truly was). We did the research and found what we believed to be the perfect school for the kids to attend for their early education, The Pike School in Andover, MA. So when we got the word about Antonio, we were distraught and disappointed, way beyond where we should have been. Questioning our parenting and lack of preparing our little man was the theme of the next few months. I look back now at my 36 year old self and I say, “What the heck was wrong with you.” It was not the end of the world, it was PRE-SCHOOL.
We get all wound up at every milestone, every step, as if they are “the end all, be all”, when in fact, typically, it is only one option of many, one of hundreds of options. But as parents it’s all about providing the best for our kids. Finding the best schools, teams, tutors, trainers, programs, and the list goes on. The quest is for the perfect route for our children in order for them to be successful and happy. The fact of the matter is that there is no perfect route; there is only their route. Creating this perfect scenario in our heads for our children just leads to disappointment and rejection for both the kids and parents.
Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that we should just throw up our hands and let our kids drift in the wind. Absolutely not! They have to work hard and we have to put them in a position to win, but there are many avenues they can take to achieve success, not just one. We can’t get fixated on the perfect. I say this from experience, it doesn’t help matters; it puts undue stress on the kids, parents and everyone in their orbit. I hope others can learn from my mistake, that it is not the end of the world.
Here’s how the call actually went: “Hi Mr. Imbriano, you have great kids and Victoria is ready for Pike, but Antonio may not be quite ready. Would you be willing to enroll Victoria for this upcoming school year and we can take a look at Antonio for next year?” Really not even close to the end of the world. Antonio was three when he was tested and he couldn’t cut with scissors or skip. Seriously. That was the reason he was not admitted. If I was rational at the time, I would have been, “Of course he can’t cut with scissors, he’s three and we have never given him scissors. Additionally, I don’t know if I want my son to skip…”
I’m happy to say Antonio can now skip while holding scissors. Ok, I’m being silly. It ended up that the following year Antonio was admitted to The Pike School and he flourished. In fact, I think the school was a perfect fit for him and a less perfect fit for Victoria. So who really knows where a kid is going to soar, except the kid. Keep putting them in a position to win and let them do all the soaring themselves. You had your chance, now it’s their turn (I say as I am researching colleges). It’s all going be fine, not getting into a particular school is not the end of the world.