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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dance Class Drama

It was Matt's idea for Hailey to attend dance class.  We didn't mention it, but when Matt saw Hailey's little face pressed up against the glass, it just came to him and we agreed.

She was totally excited.  We had to get a leotard, tights, and of course "ballet shoes."  There was no doubt about it, she was psyched.  I think Matt was too, but he kept it quiet.  After all, he's a boy, right?  No use getting excited about a silly dance class.

Her first few classes went great.  She had a friend in there, so I wasn't worried a bit.  She was excited and had no problem whatsoever...unless you count that her tap shoes were uncomfortable, but whose aren't?

If this is one of her moves, clearly we needed some instruction!
Then we got some snow and a couple of the dance classes were canceled.  Two in a row to be precise.  She didn't really think much of it because snow is much more fun, right?  Plus, you get to watch TV when there's snow because Mommy is ripping her hair out thinking of more activities!  It's a win for the Crazies!

So, we went back to our normal routine last week (thank God).  Matt went to the Kids' Zone and I took Hailey up to her dance class.  I tried to make small talk with one of the mothers, but she was really bad at it, so I ended up talking to Hailey.  She seemed a little hesitant, but fine in general.  She had actually been singing about "Dance Class" over breakfast, so it seemed like she was excited.

This looks like a kid who is really into dance class, right?

Then the instructor appeared.  She is a tiny little thing with a sweet personality.  The minute she appeared, something happened.  My sweet daughter who was so excited about dance class started looking at her shoes and standing close to me.  She got shy and stopped looking around to see what the other girls were wearing.  OMG...she didn't want to go!

I tried to ignore it at first thinking that if I made a big deal about, things would be worse, but then her face dropped as the girls started to gather around the instructor.  She got closer to me and I could tell I was going to have to address this.

What's wrong, Hailey?

I don't wanna go dance class.

Why not?  You were so excited!

Yeah...(lips quivering)

It's time to line up to go downstairs now...come on.

I don't wanna go...(eyes filling with tears)

Well, you really have to.  It will be fun and Piper is there and you're already dressed (yes, because that makes sense to a 2-year old...you're already dressed and that equals commitment...because I NEVER wear workout clothes when I'm not going to the gym, right?).

No...(in the smallest voice I have ever heard out of her)

My heart broke...

I didn't even know ballet shoes came this small!

At this point, the instructor came over and took Hailey's hand.  She was very sweet about it and held her hand all the way into the elevator and all the way into the dance studio.  Hailey didn't fight her on it, but she was reluctant.  Then I turned into That Mom...the one that hides on the stairs, hoping like Hell that her daughter doesn't lose it.  The one that just wants her daughter to be happy.  The one that ducks down every time her daughter turns her head.  Yup...that was me.  

This is one of the first times that my child's crying has ever made me want to cry.  I literally felt myself getting choked up while I was talking her into going to the class.  Crying children don't bother me in the least...I'm a middle school teacher...some days, one of my goals is to make a kid cry (I kid...I kid...although, when it happened, there was a small victory dance involved because it's hard to crack a tween)!

I checked on her about 15 minutes into the class...again, being That Mother who was skulking in the hallway hiding every time Hailey spun around.  It was horrible, but I had to do it.  She was fine.  I knew she would be, but I had never seen her like that.

Oh, I also went and grabbed her when class was over to "talk to her" before she went into Kids' Zone so I could finish my work out.  She was fine...we changed out of her tap shoes and discussed why she was upset.  She couldn't really remember and probably thinks I'm nuts, but whatever.  I felt like it needed some discussion.

This looks like the face of a Happy Dancer, right?

So, we're here again...Dance Class Day.  I am so hoping that she'll be okay because I don't think I can handle going through that again.  

I often wonder what I'll do when she's really hurt...when she loses a friend...when a boy is mean to her...when someone breaks her heart.  How am I going to look into those beautiful blue eyes that are filled with tears and tell her that it will all be okay?  How will I talk her into confronting her friend?  Or returning to the class with the mean boy?  How does a mother do that?  

I'm assuming it's good that I got all my heartbreak out when I was younger because my tough leathery heart can take all of that again...if I hadn't been broken in pretty well, I might be crying right along with Hailey and that's not going to help a thing, is it?  However, it was this Dance Class experience that showed me that there are some parts of my heart that are still pink...there are still some parts that can be hurt.  I guess life saves those parts for your children's heartbreak...which may actually hurt more than anything.