We made it through our first week. Or we're almost through the first week. My part is done. Elizabeth's father will fetch her from the last carpool of the week sometime between 2:30 and 3 this afternoon and *then* we will be done for the week and we can honestly take stock. Or not. Or maybe just keep going as we are. I think minor adjustments are made or have been being made on the fly. There was some fur flyage yesterday between the ballet moms but that's bound to settle down eventually. Something about the need to control the out of controlness (that didn't come off right - try again - the need to keep the out of controlness out of control by not committing or allowing anyone else to really commit - if you're following this string straight to hell then you're probably getting it right). I won't get into it. I can't. It's a train wreck and I'm part of it. I just need to step back and let it resolve itself. Without being a control freak and all that. (crawls head first under bed and quivers)
I deliberately kept Elizabeth out of the preseason ballet classes that started either 2 weeks or 3 weeks before the actual start of the dance season. She gave up a week with her grandfather to go to the first 2 weeks at the beginning of the summer but only went to 1 of the 3 weeks of ballet camp because of Y camp - are you all following this lunacy? So in total, there were, I think, 7 or 8 weeks of summer dance available and Elizabeth attended 3. Of those weeks, 5 or 6 were post pointe shoe acquisition and of those she attended 1. Can you see how there might be a slight problem here? Or the perception of a problem, maybe.
It wasn't so much the cost that had me keep her out. The camp conflict was a conflict that started last year. She was signed up for those two weeks at camp long before ballet camp and long before any of us realized where she'd be this year. The 2 to 3 weeks before the season were the week before school started and the first 2 weeks of school if I've got my timing right and I think I do.
Isn't there enough overwhelm? I think so. She might actually have been making up a week with her grandfather during one of those weeks and there was just no way that was getting canceled again but that wasn't the point. Enough. At least for now. Sort of like, sprinting out of the gate and then falling face first onto the pavement. I understand where Ballet Mistress is going with this; that isn't the issue. The issue is Elizabeth and every parent will choose differently.
I have a 12 year old 8th grader. That just knocks me sideways sometimes. I can't tell her too often how much I don't really care about her grades (I do, but I don't) because it confuses her. It's bad enough I sat there in front of all of the mothers and four of the fathers of the entire dance school (it's small, but still) and said, listen, this going to school business can be delayed, seriously, it's not that big a deal. I delayed and I'm perfectly successful. I at least acknowledged that I was speaking heresy in this particular county. Blasphemy even. I was not struck by lightening. I was not cast from the household. That might have been just short of miraculous.
I do care about balance though. Balance is imperative. The world will do it's damned best, no, not the world, the universe, the Universe will do everything in it's power to knock you off center if you're fighting it. Or maybe it's us. Maybe that's another thing to look at but I do know this. The deeper we go in, or out or stretch or climb, the easier it is to be off balance (this is a good thing) and to struggle, push, pull, question, wobble... oh that's just dangerous as hell.
I read this somewhere recently. Probably one of those over shared Facebook things: (in response to get out of the box)
There is no box.
Well isn't that a slap in the face? Of course there's no box. Anyway, I'm getting too far away from my point(s).
Here's the schedule:
We get up at 6 and 6:20. We get ready to go to work and school. She has to leave with her school things and her dance things which means leotard, tights, flats and pointe shoes, hairbrush, pins, net, A LOT OF FOOD, water bottle and 3 of 5 days a her violin. We won't be home until 8:30. Say good-bye to that poor dog at 7. We're really sorry, dog. Seriously, really, really sorry.
I get to work before 8 if I'm lucky - eventually I'm going to work this out so that I bike in the morning and then go to work a little later but that hasn't happened yet.
She gets to school at 7:30.
She gets to her friends house at 2:45. Homework and snackage commence. Hopefully. Leotard and tights on, hair up, toes taped, shoes back on, everything back in bags and into the car at 4:15.
Drive to Stamford.
Class begins at 5 but she can go in at 5:30 if she absolutely has to stay outside and do more homework. What do you think? She should also be stretching. She is torn.
I leave at 6:30 and hope I have time to swing by Mrs. Greens for dinner on the way across Stamford to pick up the girls and maybe I will have time to wait and watch before I collect them and Ballet Mistress if it's my turn to go by the station (and I love this) and head on home.
We make the one drop and arrive home at 8:30 if the traffic has been OK. That dog is REALLY HAPPY TO SEE US (we love you too, dog). We let the dog out, I put something together for dinner, Elizabeth does the rest of her homework and tries not to get food all over herself and her homework and then if she needs a shower she does that too. We try very hard to get her into bed by 9:30.
At 6 we get up and do it again.
On Thursdays she comes straight home from school. There is no dance.
On Fridays her dad does the pickup.
On Saturdays dance is in the city and it is half a day so they leave at 8:30 and return before 3.
On Sundays she does not dance.
So that's what it looks like.
And this is what I saw on Tuesday and all these things were in my head at the same time...
Elizabeth from the day before - I can only stand at the bar and do these things because I wasn't there the last two weeks... (sad voice)
A mother beside me - I feel so sorry for her, she's having to work so hard to catch up because she missed so much!
Me to the mother beside me - (snap! quasi snarl) Don't! There's no reason at all to feel sorry for her. She's doing the work and there isn't a thing wrong with working that hard. Look at her, she's beautiful.
Same mother - it's a shame about her career...
Me - I don't know what you're talking about
Same mother - well, she missed that performance opportunity...
Me - There will be other opportunities and I'm not going to worry about the career of a 12 year old
Elizabeth from last November post pneumonia doing center work wearing her wrap sweater because I made her, legs shaking, sweat pouring down her face... focus...
Voice of my brother when I told him what she was up to, shocking me, truly shocking me, this kid who had a dream and lived in his car to get there - 'does she have what it takes to do it?' Meaning, is there enough natural talent to make this worth the effort?
Looking through the small 12 x 12 inch portal in the door...
My 80 lb not quite 5' daughter, day 2 on pointe to the class's day 8 or 12 or 16 (I'm still not clear) doing center work across the floor (that staying at the bar only lasted one day), vanity out the window, having put her glasses back on so as to spot reliably, pulling up through her center so hard the quivering of her abdominal muscles was visible from 10 feet away.
Turn, turn, turn, turn, turn...
No wobble at all. Damn.
Do your feet hurt, Elizabeth?
No. They do not.
I hope you don't mind that I'm not coming home and stretching after class anymore. I'm wiped.
Elizabeth, I care that you're happy and that you sleep.
Also, I love you. And yes you can. Now go to bed. Take your dog. Yes, now. Good night.
I used to listen to this on the first ipod I owned when I was still running. There was ALWAYS a little more at the bottom and that little more at the bottom was the BEST stuff to pull up.
My brother played this over the sound system at a very large dropzone in Arizona when he was organizing the then current World record (it was a 300-way back in 2002 or 2003).
Not Tchaicovsky? Why no, no it's not.