Saturday, August 20, 2011

His First Launch

I've been emotionally preparing for this weekend since January.  It has been the most painful, difficult decision we've ever had to make.  It is made.

Tomorrow, I take my son to live with another family so that he can continue his ballet training.

It is a long story and I don't have the heart to spell it out for everyone just yet.  I know that most people in my circle do not agree with our choice.  I don't know how to help them understand why it is the right choice, but there is no way I could do it if it weren't the right thing to do.  He will be living with a very good family and I'll continue to home school him--long distance.  My mind has that tricky chore organized; we'll have to see how it will work in real life.  He will be dancing about twenty hours per week with his Romanian task master with the hope that opportunities will open up for him when he debuts at his first national competition in February.  It isn't quite as long a time away as regular boarding school because his schedule will be about three weeks on, one week home.  There is a high likelihood of boarding school, a program which is alive and well in the ballet world, in his future.

Today I am picking through his clothes (too small, too small, too small . . . you know the routine) and organizing his gear.  We're working on getting his mattress, dresser, shelves, bike and other items packed into our van.  He has his own soap, tube of toothpaste, shaving cream, kit of school supplies and other miscellania ready to go.

Me?  I keep holding his hand and watching him do simple things and sitting by him and tearing up for no apparent reason.

With his own, new, heavily filtered netbook.

I keep wanting to cry out, "THIS IS NOT FAIR!  THIS IS NOT FAIR!"  Actually, I did pray those exact words several times.  I suppose it's a good thing my mom always told me that life isn't fair.  If I am going to miss so much of the next while, I am glad I've been careful to rarely miss a moment so far.  You couldn't make up this life of mine, could you?

And if you are ever headed down his way (or back up my way) and have room for a kid with a bag on his lap, it would sure help our transportation costs!


  1. I grew up in an area where a lot of famous people have come from. Actors, musicians, athletes, writers... People I knew personally in high school include John Mayer (musician), Justin Long (Actor) and J.J. Henry (PGA Golfer, and Jane Roper (writer). Sending kids to boarding school, or to live with host families in L.A., etc... was common place. It was accepted as a necessity if you happened to have a child who had a gift and the child really wanted the opportunity to take it as far as it could go. But even though it was common place, it was still HARD for those families.

    I can only imagine what it's like in a place where it's NOT common place to let your child live separately from you in order to fulfill a dream.

    For what it's worth, I understand why you're doing it, and I think you're doing the right thing.

    Good luck to him AND you!

  2. Yikes. Ignore my typos. Add a parenthesis, subtract an and. :)

  3. O.K., so I just reread what I wrote and I'm worried it sounds like I was dropping names to show off who I know. That wasn't my intention. I named specific celebrities because they're all incredibly successful in their chosen field, and I know first hand that all spent time away from home as minors to pursue it. And it sounds as though your son may fall into the same league as these people, and in his chosen field, can't take it it to the next level if he remains at home. That's all I meant.
    O.K., I'll stop commenting now. I swear.

  4. Oh, Emily. My heart is heavy for you. I think you will always do what the Lord wants you to do.

  5. WOW! What a difficult decision to make, but what a wonderful lesson you are teaching your son about persuing his dreams, and sacrificing for what is right.

    You won't be alone in missing him, what are his little sisters going to do? I'm sure there will be a huge empty space in your home (even as full as it is).

    God bless!

  6. Emily,
    We go down to Utah a lot. We are headed down on September 17 and coming back the 24th or 25th. We have tons of room, so let us know!
    Mary Ellen Fox

  7. Most of the things we do as parents are things that will be criticized or judged by others. Breastfeeding/bottlefeeding. Home school/private school/public school. Working/staying home. Sports/music/"just" being a kid. And in most cases these decisions are more complex than just a duality... <3 Dana