Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Should Be Used To Rejection

I should be used to rejection by now. As a writer, I’ve been rejected by agents, publishers, reviewers, and even a few readers. I can take that. It’s part of a writer’s life. My skin has gotten thicker.

Who hasn’t been rejected? By a member of the opposite sex, for example. By a college? By a potential employer? Smarts, doesn’t it? Makes us want to scream, kick something, or have a strong cocktail.

It wasn’t until this weekend that I discovered rejection can really, truly hurt. You see, we’ve gone through the harrowing process of applying to a few private schools for my son. Our motivation was to place him in the smallest class we could find, because he has a slight sensory processing disorder and benefits from individual attention.

He’s a smart kid A sweet kid. And a cute kid, if I say so myself.

And he was rejected across the board.

The phone calls and letters letting me know that no one felt he was a “good match” for their school left me flattened. I was more depressed and lethargic over the last few days than I’ve been in years. I kept saying to myself, “How could they pass on such a terrific kid?”

Of course, I’m biased. He’s my kid. And he’ll be okay with our help no matter where he goes. My outlook is much more positive today. I trust those educators knew what they were saying and I can only hope he gets the attention he needs at our local school. I plan to meet with them soon just to make sure of it. ☺

So bring on the professional rejections. After this weekend, they’ll slide off my shoulders like water. And I’d take 100 rejected proposals over having to feel this way about my son again. Sigh. I am not looking forward to college applications…

How about you? What was your most painful rejection?


  1. It is always so hard when it's your child, isn't it? You can handle what the world can throw at you, but mess with your kid, and it's heartbreaking! My daughter (13) and son (16) haven't dealt with any "formal" rejections yet, but something as simple as being rejected by the cool kids at school - not fitting in - that's another form of rejection all kids have to deal with. Truthfully I think it hurts the moms (and dads) in more instances than it bothers the kids! Good luck to you and your son - he'll find his place:)

  2. Oh, Jb, I'm sorry. That's so hurtful to parents. I remember how painful it was to watch one of my daughters be rejected by some cliques in elementary school. And that was years ago. Parents feel it more intensely when it involves our kids.

  3. He'll do fine in this world, JB because he has a mom who loves him and supports him no matter what--seeing his potential and never letting him lose sight of it either.

  4. i do not think i have anything to compare to you but really having our children rejected in any way far outweighs our own rejections. they are our kids after all!

  5. Your little guy will do fine. He has his family who loves him and encourages him. He will have some great teachers, some good teachers, and maybe some just so-so teachers throughout his time in school. I know I certainly had a mix of teachers, but what really made a happy life for growing up was the love of my family.

  6. You ladies have it right. A loving family is the most important gift I can give my son. Thanks for the reminder! Sometimes I need you all to state the obvious for me. :)

  7. JB: Re: "Sometimes I need you to state the obvious for me"....though we posted above about the loving family, which obviously I agree with since that is what I wrote about too, I also totally understand you feeling down about the private schools saying that your kid is not a match for them. I think your feelings on the matter are completely normal, so a few days of feeling down about it is fine, and then after that say, "To hell with them! I've got a great kid, and I get to have him in my life for the rest of my life, and boy are those private schools missing out!"

  8. I think all my rejections were just as painful. First, rehab rejected my decision to be a DJ and wouldn't pay for it. Then I wanted to go into Recreational Therapy and was rejected because I was disabled, even though I could run the department blindfolded. Most recently, I've had my promotional stuff be rejected by a group for a singer who I know I could help. It's all very frustrating.

  9. JB

    I am the parent of a child with sensory integration issues and my first instinct was private school too. But I have learned that public school has by far been the best place for my son because they have the best support services, the most money for resources and the most people specially trained to deal with him. I know that it might not feel this way for you right now, but leaving your son in public school is probably the best way to help him. That is what we were advised in Kindergarten and I cannot tell you how glad I am that I listened.

    I know that it is hard, but my son is 14 now and doing great.

  10. Here via the link on Lisa Belkin's NYT blog.

    You *DO* have an alternative to your local public school- homeschooling!

    A friend of mine started when her daughter got rejected by every private school to which they'd applied. The daughter is now 12 and my friend considers it a blessing in disguise because she now realizes that homeschooling offers a superior educational experience. Even the best private schools don't offer a 1:1 teacher-pupil ratio and a curriculum tailored for the individual student's needs. With the money she saves on tuition her family is able to pay for all kinds of enrichment that they otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford- travel; sports, music, & dance lessons; subscriptions to the symphony, ballet, & theater; and so on.

    I highly recommend giving homeschooling a try for a year. You can always enroll your child in public school for 1st.