Every Saturday we take our 6-year old granddaughter to a Rec Department ballet class in a nearby high school. The class meets in a room used by the special ed program; every week, there are new questions written on the board. “What will you do after high school? What is your vocation?” I especially like the random words cut out and pasted to the wall – ambition, goals, income, success – and harbor a secret wish to be 18 again so I could get the true 411 from whomever is teaching this amazing class. Then my life might not have been such a WTF series of unfolding events.
So back to the ballet class. The Saturday class draws an interesting bunch of girls. They all come in their little leotards, some of them have little ballet shoes, some don’t and those girls go sliding around the polished concrete floor. The parents/g-parents sit and watch since it’s a schlep to drop off and go home. We read. I do crossword puzzles. Every now and then we look up and at least 50% of the time, we’ll see Little Blonde Girl with her hand to her mouth standing against the wall motionless. Her mom, sitting at a school desk across the room, continues to read her book but I can feel her seeing her daughter standing at the wall.
She looks up at her daughter and I can feel her not wanting to give her daughter any signal that should should run across the room to her.
The week before she had gotten upset and walked her daughter out of the room and down the hall. There was stern talking-to going on out there in the hall. But it was to no avail. Little Blonde Girl came back and took up her place again next to the wall.
Today, I could feel the war going on in this mom’s head. Should she just grab the kid and go home? Should she act like nothing is out of the ordinary? Should she be sympathetic or critical? Should she keep pretending that she’s not really annoyed and embarrassed and exasperated and wondering why her child, the child who begged to take ballet classes and mooned over the $5 leotards and tights and little pink slippers at Walmart, the same kid who prances around the house and wants to read all the little books about that dancing bunny, why is that child standing there while all the other little girls are twirling around and smiling. I can feel her thinking why is my child so strange?
And I want to go over to her and divulge the fact that I know what she’s thinking and tell her, “Hey, it doesn’t matter. It’s not a test. Not for her and not for you. It’s an $18 ballet class in the basement of the high school. She’ll be ok. We’ve all been there. All our kids are strange.”
It wasn’t my place to comment. Just my place to know.
This is my 100th post on Red’s Wrap.