My son took his first junior high school entrance exam today.
Yes, you read that correctly. My son is in the middle of sixth grade, and he is taking entrance exams to get into junior high school. No pressure..... (yeah, right....)
Last night, I made sure he had everything he needs: two sharpened pencils, an erasor, and a sharpener. I spoke with him about test-taking. I tried to be casual/matter of fact about it all.
He seemed to be calm, cool, and collected. I was relieved that he was not uptight about the exam (or so I thought).
Later, when the kids were in bed, Moshe came over and asked if I had talked with MD about the test. Something about the way he asked caused me to think twice. Though I answered "yes," I went to MD's room to check up on him.
MD was lying in bed, listening to the radio. He removed his earphones when I came in.
It took me only a few seconds to realize, both from what he said, as well as the expression on his face, that he was really anxious. He noted that he is especially nervous because the exam is for the school he really wants to attend. We spoke for a few minutes about what he can do to stay calm, especially during the exam. Without prompting, he mentioned his ability to calm himself by focusing on slow breathing. I was pleased that he knew what to do to control his emotions.
We spoke for a few more minutes.
I asked if he wanted me to be there when he went in for the test. He said "yes," so I told him I would be there.
Then I reminded him of the importance of getting a good night's sleep. He agreed right away, and turned off the radio.
The I tucked him in (you are never too old for your mom to tuck you in!) and gave him a hug and a kiss good-night (you are never too old for this either).
Smiling, I turned off his light.
In my head, I said a silent prayer.
I wish my son did not have to go through this! I went through this with my daughter, and it is no easier the second time around! My kids are too young for this!!
Where I grew up, no one applied to junior high or high school. I actually did have to apply to my high school, because I wanted to attend Teaneck High's Alternative 1 Program. But there was no pressure. Everyone who applied got in.
My son wants to attend a junior high that is relatively small. There are not enough places for all the kids who want to attend. All the kids are painfully aware that most of them will not be accepted into the school. I did not feel that sort of pressure until I applied to college!
I pray that God will help our son get into the school that is right for him, and I pray that God will give us the wisdom to help our son make the right choice.
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,