Friday, June 6, 2014

All Our Chips to the Middle in 2005

Let's take it back to January 4, 2000.  That's when our first Pope Panther was born.  On October 20, 2001, our second Pope Panther was born.  And tonight, at 6th grade graduation, the course we set with full vigor on August of 2005, will be complete.

Kindergarten Sneak-A-Peak, August 2005

Then, in January of 2000, we lived in a different area of Arlington.  In fact, in our girls' first 5 years we relocated across the state -- twice.  We lived in Fort Worth a while, and a most crucial part of the girls rearing was imminent: education.

We heard of Pope Elementary.

We visited the school, and there was an immediate confirmation we wanted our girls to enter those hallways we know so well (now), and begin their formal education.

Problem, though, we lived in Fort Worth...

To use a sports euphemism lightly, Idaly and I put ALL our chips in the middle, and even many chips we didn't have.  As I was explaining to my brother the other day, we were looking for a zip code, not a walk-in-closet.  And, with the Lord's help and our unrelenting pursuit to be the best parents we can be, many things fell in place.

There was a home on Ravinia Circle, which we got for $5,000 less than a cash offer from a man in California.  The catch? We appealed to its one and only owner, saying we had two ballerinas, who needed to go to Pope.

There was a realtor, who showed up in a motorcycle, cut-off shirt and looked and smelled like he'd been digging ditches all day.  Well, he had, as it were.  He remodels homes, too.  We did a quick walk-through and said, "we want it."

There was a loan officer who pulled all strings available to give us a second mortgage.  Remember, we still had our home in Fort Worth.

There were our parents, who supported us financially, emotionally and every which way.

All this happened in June of 2005.  All at once, all for Pope.

Thinking back on it, I cringe at the thought of all that was risked.  I remember sleepless nights, when we weren't sure how we would handle it all.

Today, as Aytana walks across that stage to finish sixth grade, none of the above matters, and yet it all matters incredibly.  It's done.  Our girls have thrived as students, musicians, athletes, citizens of Pope, and if there is ever a more perfect opportunity to risk it all, I can't imagine what it will be.

Pope Elementary change our lives.  It has given our girls one of the most solid foundations as they move on to junior high and high school.  Idaly and I have given a lot of our time and resources to Pope, and we'd do it again and again and again.

Pope family, thank you.  Thank you faculty.  Thank you staff.

Simply, than you.

I'm not a fan of long good-byes, and, well, Idaly is a Pope staff member now.  We, she and I, "ain't" going no where.  But, I cannot forget to take a moment to thank our Pope family for what you have done for us, for our girls.

"What is once well done is done forever."
 ~ Henry David Thoreau

All of our love,

Javier and Idaly Najera
May 2014