Written by Malina Saval, this article originally appeared in the Huffington Post, April 2, 2012
Thin envelopes in the mail never fail to remind me of senior year in high school, when flimsy rejection letters from colleges floated softly into my mail box like dead leaves off an oak tree in winter. Good news arrived in thick manila envelopes stuffed with enrollment information like tuition and dorm room assignments. Ultimately, my acceptance letter from Cornell arrived in two separate thin envelopes, because I guess the admissions committee thought it’d be fun to freak out already neurotic A-list over-achievers pining for entrance into an Ivy League school.
This week, my 5-year-old son, Boaz, received two thin envelopes in the mail (in Los Angeles by the time a kid is 2, it’s not unheard of that he’s fielded enough ding letters from private preschools to wallpaper his playroom). One was an acceptance letter to a local public school with a solid academic reputation to which we’d applied — we lived outside of the school’s district and therefore submitted Boaz’s name into the citywide lottery. At random, his name was chosen and he’d earned one of the school’s coveted open spots.
The other thin letter was preceded by a phone call from the principal of a local Jewish day school, a cozy little school with a small student body, an amazing Hebrew-immersion program and a bunch of kids that Boaz already knew from preschool, which would help ease his transition. Principal X wanted to tell me directly that she was unable to offer Boaz a spot in the incoming kindergarten class. (Read more…)