There has been a lot of additions to this address lately. A lot of firsts and a lot of oldies but goodies too. There are the things we have boxed up and brought here ourselves and there are the things that seem to magically appear before our eyes. The greening of the land is in full force, outdoor time is at a maximum, and we are full to the brim with the happiness of spring.
Yesterday marked the first day of dance class at a new studio for my oldest. Miles showed so much interest in tour jete’s and plies at a small art and dance center that when the session ended I asked him if he wanted more, and indeed he said, he did. So yesterday, after much deliberation about the distance from our new home to this little yellow building in the “city”, we decided it was without a doubt worth while. (Of course we almost didn’t make it, for five minutes before leaving it came to my attention that our newly acquired chickens had escaped and were being chased by my ferocious twelve pound southern dog… but I was able to let that one go and just drive off.) My little boy showed only a nonchalant excitement for the class on the drive, filing me with dread at the possibility of a lot of car time for nothing more than a peek in to a dance class. We arrived and wandered in finding a seat amidst the thirty or so little girls in every type of frilly tutu imaginable, dance moms gabbing and texting and the chaos of teenagers scrambling to finish homework before their dance class begun. My little boy in his “street clothes” as I heard one mama say, (orange corduroys, a t shirt and batman socks) sat patiently holding my hand, eyes fixed on the floor. When his class was called in, I walked him to the door. He pleaded for me to come in through forceful whispers in my ear, but this is a closed-door class, I really couldn’t. I told him I would be right outside with a hope so strong that he would accommodate, be brave and take the bold leap alone. He instructed me on the precise location that he felt comfortable with me standing and of course I abided. The teacher quickly ushered him in and the door shut before either of us could get in another word. Much to my surprise a live video of the class was projected right above my head for me watch with a nervous eye. I just so wanted him to enjoy himself. And enjoy himself he did! It didn’t take long for my shoulders to loosen up, and a deep sigh of relief to leave my lungs. I settled in for the hour with a bucket of legos and my little Rowan glancing at the television every now and then with a sparkle in my eye. It seems the power of independence is nothing to scoff at. That little boy shined and I was one proud mama. I didn’t snap a single photograph for fear of doing anything to embarrass, deter, or distract my boy from the task at hand.
When it was all said and done, I asked Miles how it went. He told me they got to do moves on their own, “Free dance” he said. To see him reenact the precise hip sway and shuffle that I had seen him do on the big screen for some reason put me over the edge. He was proud so of himself. Truly proud. He walked out of that studio just a bit taller, with a bit more confidence, and some little bear stamps on his hands to prove it. These first children, it seems they test us. I am learning so much about parenting from him; Experiencing the bubbling over emotion of joy, as well as the immeasurable amounts of frustration by his side. It feels a little less daunting with the second, and I can only hope by the third I take things with a bit more equanimity too. But for now, I will still gasp at the teetering grand battements and tear up at the bravery of a little boy growing up.
And now, we have been watching Baryshnikov videos since the crack of dawn, with the occasional pirouette spun for good measure.