“Well,” Dan turns to me briefly, arches his eyebrows as if to say…‘I got this’ sighs, and begins our usual story about Ryan. I let him do the talking. He does a good job. I often swell with pride when he talks about Ryan. It reminds me that he could have easily set him aside and left it all up to me, but he is such a willing participant in the journey. She sits back in her chair and steeples her fingers for a few seconds. I feel as if I’m going to implode right there. I can tell she is deep in thought. I look at Dan quickly but he only shifts his eyes not his head. As if he is sending her telepathic messages.
She then stands up and excuses herself to go speak with the principal.
After she walks out, Dan turns to me and says in a whisper. “This could work in our favor.” I nod and smile weakly. Can’t get too excited…We wait in silence both of us staring straight ahead. I’m trying to make out the mumbles I hear next door.
What feels like a short eternity passes and Michelle leans in the doorway. “Could you two join me in Mrs. Wilbur’s office?”
We practically jump from our chairs and follow her to the office next door. She motions for us to take two seats and then walks behind the desk where Mrs. Wilbur is sitting. Mrs. Wilber looks up at us. She has thick glasses and very short brown hair. She smiles nicely, but I sense she isn’t thrilled.
“Well, Mrs. Johnson has filled me in on your…situation.” She smiles thinly. “I have worked with special needs children before, so I know the challenges you have probably faced.”
“I also know you understand how differently we operate from a public school.” She tilts her head.
“Yes, we understand.” I say sweetly. I am gonna kill her with kindness.
“We’ve had aides here in the past and it…” She looks at Michelle quickly. “Didn’t go so well.” Then she looks down at her desk.
“In what way?” Dan asks.
She studies him for a second. “The aides weren’t…um…let’s say they were less than professional.” Her mouths makes a straight line and I can’t tell if she’s trying to smile or frown.
“Well, I can understand your hesitation,” I say with my sugary sweet tone, “But Dr. Hunter’s company has worked with many schools in the area who would be happy to give you a reference.” I once again find my heart beating quickly and can’t stand the agony of rejection and again looking for another school. Michelle is smiling sweetly at me and I implore her with my eyes.
“We are happy to consider this for you, but we need to make a few phone calls and speak to our corporate office.” Michelle tilts her head. “That sound good to you guys?”
My heart skips a beat…I want to jump up and kiss her.