When I posted last, Julian had been accepted into the School of American Ballet (SAB) for the winter term but had no room in the SAB dorm AND there was a possibility that the Professional Performing Arts School (PPAS), the public school he would attend, had no room for him in the senior class. After I wrote that post, things went from bad to worse.
I got a call from PPAS telling me there was, indeed, no room in the senior class for Julian.
And I looked at some very dismal one-bedroom apartments in the $2000 or under range. Some were smaller than the loft we are staying in now. Some were dingy and dirty. Some were a five-floor walk up (with my computer in my backpack).
When I was just about to give up and say, “This is just too difficult. It must not be meant to be,” I turned it over to Something Bigger Than Me. A Higher Power. I asked my angels, guides and God to show me that Julian was supposed to be in New York and attend SAB and PPAS. “If it’s meant to be, show me the way. Give me a sign. Make it easy,” I said.
That was on August 11th.
On August 12th, in the morning, I got a call from SAB’s registrar. “I’ve got good news for you,” she said. “Julian has a spot in the dorm if he wants it.” It seems they had decided to squeeze three boys into a two-person room. (Hmmm. Hadn’t I mentioned something about adding an extra bed? Whatever.)
“That’s great!” I replied. “Let me tell my husband and Julian!”
I did just that. And while Julian was talking to my husband, Ron, on his phone (Ron was still in Germany), my phone rang. It was the parent liaison from PPAS. “I’ve got great news for you,” she said. “I just spoke with my principal and we have a spot for Julian in the senior class.”
“That’s wonderful,” I replied. “Don’t give it away!”
A sign…clear and simple.
However, my husband thought we should keep looking for an apartment. Blech. It might be cheaper. We could all be together. We could give Julian that one more year of parental supervision I had mentioned. Yea. Yea.
So I began looking again. (I even had one I could have rented for $1850 on the East Side…a dump…month to month and a tiny one right around the corner from the school for $2000–both fourth-floor walk ups. And it still felt like a struggle. I still had to figure out what to do with the house and cat in California. I had to figure out how to handle my commitments in California. I had to squeeze all of us into one space. I had to get Julian registered for school myself and establish residency. Blech.
Then Julian said, “Mom, I think I’d rather live in the dorm. I feel like I’d be missing stuff.” This from a boy who always feels like he’s missing stuff because he doesn’t feel accepted or part of the popular group and who spent two summers at American Ballet Theatre’s summer intensive living with me rather than in the dorms with a lot of the other kids. I breathed a sigh of relief. Fine. Settled.
We turned in financial aid forms; there are no scholarships at SAB during winter term. And financial aid, we were told at first was only for tuition, not for room and board. Later we were told there would be little, if any, financial aid for room and board. No matter…we did not qualify. We were told different things about this. There is one pool; come to the pool party late and the water is lower. We were late. Also, all the SAB families’ conditions are compared to each other. The families with the worst financial conditions any particular year get the financial aid packages. This year, we were not as bad off as others; the economy left a lot of people without jobs. So, we have to find a way to come up with about 20k. Ouch.
I don’t want to deal with the expense of sending him to SAB (as much as private school). But here’s an even bigger ouch: I don’t want to let Julian go away…leave home…a year early. I don’t want to worry about him being away from home. I don’t want to miss out on being with him his senior year. But this decision–to put him in the dorm an to let him dance at SAB–just seems the right one for him.
Or I hope it is the right one
But I asked for a sign. And it all fell together. He got a spot in the SAB dorm and in the PPAS senior class all within an hour. So…
I’ll have to trust, just like all the other ballet boys’ moms and dads, that it will be okay.
And I’ll have to come up with more than just the tuition and room and board. I’ll have to come up with air fare and money to stay in a hotel (or stay with my mom instead), so I can check on him (and see my daughter, too!).
And there you have it. Look out, PPAS and SAB. Here comes my dancin’ boy! He always wanted to be in New York City, and now he will be.
What a huge decision and change that will be for him. Today all his friends began school in Los Gatos…and he began telling them goodbye via Facebook. Just one more big decision in the life of my dancin’ boy (and for this family).
On a totally different note, Julian has been sick. Strep, I think. He first got sick the first week of Complexions. Then he had an allergic reaction; that sent us to the ER. Now he’s on prednisone for that. And he’s on a new antibiotic because as soon as he ended the first one the sore throat and fever started coming back. Then he got hives… No idea what is going on with him, but we will see the family doctor and an allergist when he gets home. Yes, home for a week. Then back to New York City. And he asked to be taken back…an expense I guess will deal with since he seems to want the support.
For the next five days, though, my husband and I are here enjoying being with him, watching him dance when we can, and waiting to see him dance in the Complexions final performance. We will miss seeing him dance all year long…and seeing him in general. That’s for sure. I grieved when my daughter went off to college…took me about 6 months to get over it. I’m sure it will be just as bad if not worse when Julian leaves. I’ll have an empty nest one year too early…
How do all the other ballet mom’s do it, I wonder?