A few days ago I was driving down the street with a friend of mine when I saw a neighbor walking her dog and immediately whipped the car over and ran down the street to catch up with her. I didn’t know her name and she probably was a little frightened at me wildly running up to her in the middle of her otherwise very pleasant Sunday afternoon walk; but, I had to thank her.
I credit my daughter’s ability to read well and her love for learning to not only my early work with her but also to her amazing preschool teacher and charter school structure. Similarly, her first grade teacher put her leaps ahead of her peers in math and helped get her interested in science and social studies as well. During her second grade year she was not nearly as challenged as she was before. She began to talk and get disruptive because she was bored in class. Moving her up again didn’t make any sense and her school didn’t have a gifted program. I loved her school but I prayed for something more for her. I know she deserved it and I didn’t want her to lose her enthusiasm.
At our neighborhood block party in June, which I almost didn’t go to because I don’t always like meeting new people, one of my neighbor ladies took an interest in my daughter and her intelligent nature and conversation. She asked me about her school and I mentioned that she went to a great school but that she’d skipped a grade because the work was so easy for her. She told me that she was a teacher in another part of town and that she could tell that she was advanced. I shared the story of how I’d wished I could afford to send Nia to a gifted school because I knew she would benefit from it but I also knew that I’d missed the deadline for scholarships at the prestigious private schools and that I didn’t have the money to get her tested to give her that gifted distinction she deserved. She told me that our public school system actually had a gifted school in the next neighborhood over. I didn’t believe her but she insisted that I research the gifted academy when I got home and give it a look for the next year. Though the block party stretched on from the night into the next morning, and I couldn’t remember that neighbor’s name, I remembered what she said and looked it up.
On that Monday morning I did the research; on Tuesday I called. I asked for a tour and a meeting with the principal. The secretary thought it was not a good time to visit because classrooms would be getting cleaned and students wouldn’t exactly be learning but I practically begged to come in anyway. That Wednesday, though it was their last day of school, I spent 2 hours there meeting with the principal, walking into classrooms and peeking at the gifted curriculum. I knew I had to get her in.
I was told there were only 25 spots left in the gifted school and my challenge was to get Nia’s qualifying test scores included with her application for enrollment. While I knew her scores would qualify, I didn’t know when I’d receive them and if I would be able to submit in time. I called her charter school to ask and was told that they’d be mailed in the summer. Feeling helpless I called again the next day and asked if they’d arrived. They secretary let me know that they were right in front of her and I could pick them up from the office at any time. I was there in 5 minutes and submitted the complete application shortly thereafter.
Two weeks later we received the acceptance letter and my prayer had been answered.
Fast forward to August…
My daughter was pretty worried about the first day at her new school and had her grandparents and aunts and uncles concerned too. I told my mother, “I’m not worried at all Mom. I prayed for this; it’s not going wrong now. It will be fine.”
After her first day, she got off of the bus beaming. She said, “I had so much fun, Mommy! I didn’t know it was going to be like that.”
I share this as my testimony to any single mother who wants more for their child or children, even when it appears to be unattainable: I asked and I received. So ask, and don’t forget to believe. Our God is an awesome God. You never know who you will meet that could have the tip that could change everything.
I learned, after pulling over that day, that my neighbor’s name is Amy. I told her that my daughter made it into the school she suggested, that I didn’t know where she lived and felt bad that I couldn’t share the good news sooner; but I had to thank her that minute because of what she told me about the gifted school. She appeared to be just as happy as I. “That was a feel-good moment.” she said and smiled.