Saturday, December 12, 2009

She's a tough little nut to crack

"Mama, I don't LIKE it!" My JBean wasn't happy. Although this is not that uncommon, it was still a concern. The Nutcracker was coming up, and she is due to perform.

Last year, she was a flower. "I liked being a flower mama. Flowers are graceful, and princess-y. It was a pretty dance." This year, they are lambs. She is less-than-thrilled.
"I hate the Lamb Dance! It's stupid. The costume is silly, I look like a little kid." I figured reminding her that is indeed what she is? Not so helpful.

Early on, I told her she didn't have to dance if she didn't want to. The Stage Mother? I am the furthest thing from that person. You won't see me pushing my children against their will. I have a theory about extra-curricular activities: if it isn't fun, what's the point? This may be because I was, if not born with two left feet, in possession of them now. Dancing well is hard for me, and I don't have autism. Still, if I were to try to dance, with actual choreography, you would think I was having a seizure of some sort.

I have given her every opportunity to bow out gracefully. She won't be a prima ballerina; she is still in the first-level class. All of her friends have pretty much moved up a level. She just isn't ready. As a parent, my heart hurts just a little bit for her. I worry as she gets older, girls will make fun of her. But she won't quit. She assures me that she wants to dance. And she does. She just doesn't love this dance. Still, she is trying, and that's all we can ask. To me, that in itself is a victory.

Now I am looking for a triumph over the fear I have for her. The great, white-hot worry that wakes me at night. I think of the time that is coming, soon, or not-so-soon, when the girls look at her and laugh. When they look at her, whispering behind their hands. When it hits her just how behind she is, and that without 10,000 hours, she just isn't going to get those dance solos that she may be wanting. She will be tried, and found less than adequate. And though we cannot keep our children from pain, it is still a very difficult thing to watch. A lump in my throat and tears pricking my eyes, I wait.

T, who loves her little lamb

4 sent chocolate:

Accidental Expert said...

Its so hard to watch our kids, especially when you are all to familiar with the pitfalls that they might face.

You're a great mom. And you have one determined little ballerina. Great post....again.

Tony Letts said...

My fingers are crossed with yours

Stranded said...

Mine is only 3 but I live this heart ache along with you sister!

The kid across the hall, upon seeing my son emerge from our apartment muttered "oh no not again!" - I mean they are only 3! But it has already started.

T. said...

Expert: Thanks for saying so, it means a lot.

Tony: it is so great that you are watching her progress along with me!

Stranded: hey, thanks for stopping by. I understand how that feels. My son gets it some, though he has become so gregarious at 11 that he doesn't get it too much anymore. His role as clown means that people will laugh with him, and sometimes at him, but he figures if they laugh at him, it's because he is funny. It is a fine line and I don't know how to teach him to negotiate it. I wish I did.

thanks, everyone for commenting!

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