One Month Ago:
Nick came home from school with great news. His teacher had submitted his name as a candidate for the school's escolta.
Being part of the escolta is a huge honor. Only six or seven of the smartest soon-to-be 6th graders are accepted. It is their job to escort the flag during every school assembly, parade and almost every other civic ceremony held outside of school. Nick has been wanting to be part of the escolta since 1st grade.
Three Weeks Ago:
The Phys. Ed. teacher, who would have final say in who would be part of the escolta, informed the students that if they wanted to be part of the escolta, they had to know how to march. Not content with just practicing at school, Nick practiced all through the house, on the sidewalk and even in Hubby's shop. (He showed great improvement from this first rehearsal.)
Two Weeks Ago:
The Phys. Ed. teacher sent home a note to inform an elite group of parents that there would be a meeting on May 31st to discuss the escolta. Was this it? Was this the note we had been waiting for, informing us that our son was one of the chosen few? That's what many of us hoped for!
May 31st to be exact, I picked up Jack from kindergarten and went to Nick's school for "the meeting". It was just me and three other moms. We waited just outside el cancel (wrought iron gate) for the Phys. Ed. teacher We peaked into la direccion (the principle's office) to see if el director knew anything, but the office was empty. After about 5 minutes, Nick's teacher let us into the school, so we could sit and wait for el maestro. We waited and waited and waited. Thirty minutes had passed and still no sign of el maestro. It was then that the other 5th grade teacher informed us that el maestro only works on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and that maybe we got our dates confused. We promptly showed him the note that clearly stated May 31st at 12 noon. The teacher then suggested that it was el maestro who got the dates confused and that we should try again tomorrow at the same time. A couple of the other moms argued that they wouldn't bother to show up, saying something about having a life and better things to do.
The next day was Hubby's turn to pick up Jack. Before he left, I suggested that he stop by Nick's school on the way back, on the off chance that the meeting was being held. I would've felt terrible if Nick had been excluded due to a lack of interest on the parents' behalf.
Sure enough and just as I had suspected, the meeting was in session. Turns out that the person who typed up the note was the one who mixed up the dates, not el maestro. The Phys. Ed. teacher informed the parents that he wasn't even close to making a decision, because he was still in the process of testing the kids' marching abilities. One mom argued that her daughter and Nick should be shoe-ins for the escolta since they are the 5th graders with the highest grade point average (GPA). She also argued that it was common knowledge that only the smartest kids in school get to be part of the escolta, who are then taught how to march. The Phys. Ed. teacher then informed the group of parents that if the school only chose the highest GPA's, then only the kids' in Nick's class would be in the escolta and that the school needed to be fair and include students from both 5th grade classes. After almost an hour of back and forth arguments between the Phys. Ed. teacher and the parents, Hubby suggested that el maestro make his choice by Friday, that way he could focus his time on practicing marching drills with the escolta.
For the rest of the week, I was a ball of nerves. I wanted Nick to be part of the escolta because this is what he has wanted and worked very hard for since he was in 1st grade. Thankfully I had two parent-teacher conferences with Hope and Ashley's teachers to keep my mind occupied on Thursday. But by Friday, I couldn't think of anything else. To make matters worse, it was a half day at school, so there was a small chance that el maestro wouldn't make a decision until the following week. Ay Dios Mio!
Glass half-full kind of gal that I am, I tried to stay positive. But there was a teeny, tiny part of me that wondered how I would console Nick if he weren't accepted. Just when I felt like I couldn't wait another minute to find out, Nick walked in the upholstery shop, head down and shoulders drooping, looking like he had lost his best friend. My heart broke into a thousand pieces at the sight of him. I stood up to wrap my arms around him, but before I could, he looked up with those sad eyes that seemed to light up at the sight of me, he flashed me an ear to ear grin and said "Estoy en la escolta!" (I'm in the escolta!)
My heart skipped a beat and my eyes filled with tears. Tears of joy and happiness.
Words can't express how proud I am of my son.