Yesterday was Saturday. And I had my kids loaded up in my car to head out to our usual Saturday routine of meeting up with their academic tutor. Right as I was backing out, we saw the mail carrier bringing our mail. So I stopped the car and got the mail and brought it into the car. And there I saw it ... an envelope from Orange County High School of the Arts ... addressed to my son, Andrew.
I had taken Andrew just last month for his audition for OCHSA's visual arts program as we stood in line with so many other moms and dads with their respective sons and daughters. I remember thinking to myself that though our outer portfolio wasn't so fancy and slick compared to some of the others, I knew in my heart of hearts that the content of his portfolio was genuine, authentic, and 100 percent Andrew.
We brought sketches but also photos of his clay work and wire work. Quite frankly, a body of work that I think demonstrates the teachability well-roundedness and enthusiasm that is undeniably Andrew.
So I handed the letter to Andrew in the backseat. And as he opened it, both Monica and I reminded him that if it was a rejection letter he ought not be sad because it had been such a competitive process and that we would try again next year. He finally opened it and started reading ... and burst out with the most important word you want to read when you open a letter like that: "Congratulations!"
We hooted and hollered and gave each other high fives and quickly went back in the house to hoot and holler with Gerardo as well.
In the evening, we all went out to celebrate and raise a glass to honor Andrew. As we celebrated, we thought about all the other members of Andrew's village who helped support his application. His big sister Monica, our friend Cynthia who took photos of his dimensional art, his art teachers at The Art Place, his Saturday tutor, his current art and homeroom teachers at his current school, his current school buddies, and of course his parents: Gerardo and I.
Andrew is so proud and so excited. He is also sad about saying goodbye to his schoolmates with whom he has grown up for so many years. I'm sure there will be hugs and tears as we all cheer on Andrew as he embarks on his new adventure. Our boy with the pure heart. Our OCHSA student. Our artist.