Our school district has a Literary Magazine. The district is very large - 16 elementary schools, 5 middle schools and three high schools. The annual literary magazine offers a representation from all the schools and all the grades. By it's very nature most students do not get in it every year - it would be a physical impossibility.
Pippi has had something published in the magazine every year since she was in kindergarten. Harry was following in her footsteps, with something published the past two years. Yesterday, Pippi came home with the permission slip indicating that she would be in again this year. Harry looked horrified. He didn't have one of those.
I reminded him that all teachers don't give out all papers on the same day.
But today he came home from school in tears. He'd asked his teacher, and no - his submission hadn't been chosen. He's heart broken.
It's pointless to remind him that it's impossible for everyone to be in every year - even wonderful writing will get side stepped in order to make sure that there is an even representation between schools, grades and subjects. He doesn't want to hear that now. And I won't tell him.
Pippi has been lucky. Every year I remind her "you might not get in this year." So far that hasn't happened. Inevitably it will. We had a friend who was in every year except her senior year I think (now that's a hard one to take!). Harry has had his disappointment now.
But - there's always next year!