Melody finds out that she makes the final quiz team that gets to go to Washington! Claire does not make the team. Melody gets to go shopping and get some new outfits for the trip- no practical sweats! Her mom, Mrs. V, and Melody pack to make sure they are completely prepared for this exciting trip. Then the unthinkable happens. Melody’s flight is cancelled due to weather, but somehow the rest of the team was able to get out on an earlier flight. There are no other flights that will get her to Washington before the competition, and it is too far to drive and get there on time. Melody will miss the competition.
Melody returns home and lies in her bed. She can’t sleep. The events of the day are running through her head with endless questions about why and how this could have happened. Did they leave her on purpose? She is frustrated that she can’t even hit something or stomp her feet to show her frustration. Penny comes to snuggle with her, which calms Melody down a little. Mr. Dimming calls to apologize and promises to make it up to her. Melody’s mom does not accept the apology.
These were such heartbreaking chapters. To go from such joy and anticipation to such sadness and rejection, is so hard to process and accept. This child has worked so hard and overcame so many obstacles! Her family has sacrificed and supported her. They just can’t seem to catch a break. As I was reading I could feel the rejection, taking me back to my middle school and high school years, when I had felt left out and rejected. It is a pain that you never truly forget. But as a parent, I have learned that there is no pain greater than to see your child suffer and know that you can’t do anything to make it better. I keep thinking (hoping) that there must have been a good explanation for why no one called to tell Melody to come early. Why was she not invited out to breakfast with the rest of the team? It is so hard for me to imagine that a teacher would not make every effort to make sure she was included, but so far this particular teacher seems to be struggling with the idea of truly accepting Melody into the group… and if he can’t show acceptance, then how can he expect the students to accept Melody as a part of the team?