Two weeks ago, my sweet little boy asked if he could talk to me in private.
(All sorts of alarm bells went off, let me tell you. Since we’d recently had “The TALK”, I was worried about what sorts of ideas he’d been turning over in his mind since our conversation. And no kidding– it took him more than a week to look me in the eye. I have never felt so ashamed, not even after coming home from my honeymoon and seeing my parents for the first time as a married woman. Who “knew” her husband. In the biblical sense.)
Whoa. Tangent. We’ll get back on track as soon as I fan myself a little and get a nice cold drink.
Anyway, so, about his talk… yeah, I was nervous about what was coming. We sat down on the edge of my bed and he asked me shyly, “Mom? What do you think about me running for Student Council?”
I think I scared him with my reaction, which was to shout some “hallelujahs” and throw my arms around him and plant kisses all over his face. Then I calmly told him how great I thought he’d be on Student Council. He’s a smart boy, very well-liked by his classmates and teachers, responsible and caring. I also told him that from the time he was a very little boy, we (my parents and siblings) thought he had the potential to be Student Body President, which is sort of like being on the student council, except in a bigger capacity. He really liked this idea, and we spent some time looking through my old yearbooks, where I pointed out student government officers. (Oh, and there was LOTS of laughter about how we dressed, which I didn’t find NEARLY as funny as he and Kendra did. Also, they had a really hard time picking their mom out of the sea of faces. What is THAT about? I graduated in 1992, not 1892.)
So, we worked on his application, which asked for basic information and a paragraph stating why he wanted to participate. He wrote a very cute note about helping others, developing school pride and being a good example to other kids. (I wish I had kept a copy of his application. It was precious.) He was very nervous about turning it in, and one of the first questions he had for the student advisors was, “When do we find out if we get chosen?”
Every morning at breakfast (and many other times throughout the day), he’d tell me how much he wanted to be on the Student Council, and how he hoped he would be picked. Every day after school, he’d come home and report that no, he hadn’t heard anything yet. After a week of no news, he figured he hadn’t been chosen, and he was working through his disappointment. Today was a different story, though. Today he burst through the front door yelling, “Mom! MOM! You have GOT to read this!” He thrust a letter in my face and stood somewhat sheepishly next to me while I opened it and read through it.
Dear Alex, it said. Congratulations! You have been selected to participate in this year’s Student Council…
We did a celebratory dance around the table, and there were dozens of hugs and kisses, and well-deserved congratulations. Alex said that more than 100 kids submitted applications, and only 22 were chosen. It was amazing to see how happy he was, and how proud to be a representative of his school. They are having their first meeting Thursday morning, and he’s already thinking of ideas to present.
I know that there will come a time when he won’t win something he really wants. (I know how it feels to run for office and lose, because I did it twice when I was in high school.) I realize that at some point in his life, he’ll have to learn how to deal with rejection in a healthy way. Not today, though. Today I’m grateful that with this experience, his first time really stepping out and taking a risk, he was able to claim a victory.
Congratulations, my Alex. I love you.