Thump thump. Thump thump. I’m sure my heart beat was audible. I pulled in to the parking space right in front. It was a good sign. I gathered everything I needed, being careful not to forget a thing. I did turn the car off and locked it, keys in hand.
The front doors were all locked. Well, all but one. Signs on each door advised us that no weapons were allowed, and we were to use the main door only. I proceeded with caution. The lady at the main desk was especially kind. She knew I was nervous and unsure. She guessed my reason for coming, and she was correct. There were bunches of us, after all.
Some stayed with her and nervously made small talk. Others followed the one before them. I waited for her instructions. Not one misstep. She told us to proceed around the corner and follow the signs.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the line was only about five deep. I’d heard horror stories about hour-long waits. One lady talked about getting there right as they were closing. They didn’t bend the rules.
Obviously feeling the stress of the unknown, two women in line, strangers only minutes before, bickered back and forth about which way to go. One had been told this way, the other was told that way. After a few minutes and many nervous smiles among the bystanders, it was determined they were there for entirely different reasons. The one in the front of the line wasn’t taking any chances, though. She watched as her new enemy bypassed the line and entered an office down the hall. Thump thump.
“Next in line!” It was my turn. We were provided a checklist, and I checked it much more than twice. Every time I was sure I had all the parts, I’d check again to be sure. The deadline was clearly posted, but I verified it on a near daily basis. I was a day early.
While the employee went over my materials, I laughed at her jokes, even complimenting her sweater. It couldn’t hurt, right? I was so organized. I had every single thing she asked for, right down to the self-addressed stamped envelopes. The unfortunate soul in line ahead of me had forgotten hers. I smiled, pleased with my organization, as she was lectured for her mistake and told to come back tomorrow.
The sweet lady with the cute sweater filled our folder with everything I brought and completed her own checklist. She smiled warmly and told me about the next step. I thanked her one too many times and went on my way.
My heart beat resumed its normal volume as I walked away, leaving it all behind. The next steps weren’t up to me.
Y’all. All I had to do was turn in the application.
In the coming weeks, hundreds of Richmond County students will apply for Augusta’s magnet schools. There’s a four-hour test day and, for Davidson Fine Arts, there’s a pretty hefty audition. It may seem dramatic, and the drama may have been a little less than I let on, but this is a big deal. For many of these kids, this’ll decide where they go to school from sixth-12th grade. Not only that, but these are great schools with even better opportunities.
Prayers, juju, positive thoughts and crossed everything for them as they go through the process. As parents, all we can do is drop them off on the assigned days. I’m good with that. I did my part. The rest is up to him. The Boy has mad skills. If he doesn’t get it in, it wasn’t meant to be. Meanwhile, you can find me impatiently waiting for that self-addressed stamped envelope.