What Came in the Mail

At our house, we’ve been waiting impatiently for a packet from Land O’Lakes Arts Academy. A phone call a few weeks ago let us know that Snowman had passed muster for admission, but we wouldn’t be able to say yes or no officially until we knew more about the financial aid available to him.

As I stood holding the package in my hands, I considered my mixed feelings. A good award would make this an easy decision. Or would it? I feel some hesitation in letting this bird leave the nest, hesitation that has more to do with me than with his readiness to fly. A bad award would mean two more years of having Snowman here at home, more time to spend with him and enjoy his sense of humor, more listening to the music he recommends, more Wednesday evening’s watching "Lost" together, more hearing him play his clarinet at church, more of many things I don’t even know how to name.

On the other hand, a good award would mean a head start on what he hopes will be a career in music, a chance to go to school with kids who are more like himself, eager to learn and to develop not only as musicians but as human beings.

I opened the envelope.

The outcome: a medium award, not so good as to be automatic, not so bad as to end the conversation. I had a talk with Snowman’s dad, The Father of My Children, and I think we have a way to make it possible for him.

I know it’s a place, as they say in the acceptance letter, where it’s "cool" to be talented. But here is what convinces me. They write,

Chosen candidates share a distinct passion for learning, a thoughtful perspective of the world at large, and an equal commitment to community and to personal excellence. It’s simply not enough to be gifted; a successful candidate must have compassion and demonstrate a commitment to excellence and the improvement of the world in which we live.

I’m reading the letter and weeping, because they are describing my child. How could I not let him go?

33 thoughts on “What Came in the Mail”

  1. aw…’ll be okay, Songbird. just tell him to drop any ideas of doing anything at all over Christmas or Spring breaks but hang out with his mother.
    How does Little Princess feel about this?

  2. She thinks it will be good for her. She’ll have to learn such skills as making ramen and doing her own laundry, which she has begun attempting with some assistance. But I’m worried about having her here alone after school during those times Pure Luck is away.

  3. Hurray for Snowman! All that time dedicated to studying what he loves and learning more about himself in a special place.
    And hugs for Mom. Babies who fly away do come back, but it’s hard at first not having them around all the time.

  4. Congralations, Sonbird! What a proud Mom you must be. Keep exploring the financial options and I trust that it will either fall into place or a door will be shut. Big changes may be in store, sooner rather than later. What a blessing for Snowman to get a chance to thrive and grow and learn.

  5. That’s the same letter they have been sending forever–I remember that paragraph from 10 years ago. (though I decided not to go myself and for my own reasons, I suspect my parents were financially relieved!)
    I know he’ll love it…and it’ll be great for him.
    Congrats to the Snowman!!

  6. It is amazing how we time our hearts to let go at graduation and then those little chicks make us speed up that release. My teen is looking at something similar for her last 2 years of high school. A large part of me wants to scream, don’t go! I want those last two years. But in the end it will be what is best for her and for Snowman.

  7. wow! what an opportunity! what a blessing! what a challenge! congratulations to snowman! and a big hug for you! and congratulations to you too! good mothering surely is a factor in his ability to fly so soon. i understand those mixed tears… sending you love.

  8. songbird–i think anyone who’s given herself this name knows a lot about flying. May joy and blessings overflow in your home!

  9. yes. As a mother whose children are growing up and finding their “calling” in life, one that is grounded in passion for others, this world, and self, I weep with you. It is all too precious.
    I’m glad he was admitted and that you have the opportunity to consider this.

  10. My niece and nephew both were accepted to an arts school for their jr & sr years of high school – he in music and she in dance. My brother experienced the empty nest two years earlier than he anticipated, but enjoyed seeing his children thrive in an environment that they loved. Still, it was tough.
    Prayers for you and your family as these decisions are made!

  11. You must let him go … but knowing that it’s exactly the right place for him doesn’t make it easy.
    (((HUGS))) to you …. and a huge high five to Snowman. This is an incredible achievement!

  12. Oh, Songbird. I’m very sympathetic. Despite the great opportunity, I know it is hard to let him go earlier than you expected! Blessings on all of you.

  13. Beautiful post … so happy for snowman … he is blessed to have you for a mom. Never known a momma bird yet who was ready when it came time for their children to leave the nest. Hugs.

  14. Oh love – 2 birds flown or flying for both of us next school year. Huge hugs to you and many congratulations to Snowman from all of the GoodinParts household. xxx

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