I love how nonchalant Soleil is in retrospect.
She was a little nervous. I was shaking like a leaf.
My internal prayer: Please let the professor be open-minded. Please let the students be understanding. Please let the syllabus be reasonable. Please let the building be intuitive. Please let us have the right supplies for tonight. Please let us thaw before we meet anyone. The list was endless.
I caught the professor headed to the supply closet and explained ever so briefly that I was there with Soleil, and she was not accompanying me. It wasn’t bring your daughter to school day and you missed a memo, Professor. I asked if I could sit in the first two classes, and, perhaps still in shock, she acquiesced.
She introduced herself and asked the class to do the same including a brief history of experience drawing. “My name is Mary and I’m a Junior. I haven’t taken an art class before. “ “My name is Karen and I drew in middle school,” etc. Soleil was second to last. “Hi, my name is Soleil, and yeah, I’m eleven,” she said with heartbreaking poise and charm and a shrug. “I uhm, drew in middle school, too, ‘cause I’m in middle school now.” If she’d thrown in a wink, I’d have been worried, but she was genuinely connecting with the other students. “I’ve been drawing pretty seriously for three years, concentrating on Manga.”
And that was it. Just like that, she had introduced herself to her college peers. No bumps, no bruises, and no bad vibes. She’s just another student in a challenging art course, determined to draw better. I finally remembered to breathe.