Tuesday night. Open class at my oldest’s ballet class. But let us back up shall we, to about 7:30 in the morning, at the height of the morning rush to get out of the house. She woke up in an emotionally volatile mood, biting our heads off when we told her to brush her teeth or put a sweater on. By the time 7:30 rolled around, she was in her snow suit crying uncontrollably. Since we had just had the snowfall of a decade and the car was buried to look like a wintery hobbit house, we had to take the metro. And there was no way I was going to take my own little hysterical Jane on the uber crowded train, so we stayed home. She slept until eleven and I missed a day of work, guilt eating at me like a horde of black flies from northern Ontario.
Still after a pleasant day, where we unpacked her room and hung out, we had a call from her ballet teacher to remind us that the open class was this evening and, as they were only five kids, that it would be great if she could come. My daughter’s head wagged uncontrollably up and down bobble head style, so we decided to go, even though she was supposed to be “sick” (mainly she was just sick and tired). So after a very quick dinner, we bundled up and went to catch the jam packed bus about a half an hour earlier than we usually would (which was a good thing because the lineups were atrocious- people were spilling on the bus from the back and the front. Sardines in a can are positively roomy compared to how we were packed in…)
Still we made it. The class started and all of a sudden I saw a different kid than the little girl I knew from home. This little girl was eager to answer questions even if she was not quite sure of the answers. This little girl was taking criticism from a very strict (but friendly) ballet teacher who was constantly correcting her and not giving her unnecessary positive feedback (which I hear can be just as harmful as the negative kind- debate amongst yourselves on that one). This little girl was happy and excited and motivated in her class and even if she did not get it perfectly the first time, didn’t mind trying and trying again.
Hmmmm. So the defeatist attitude is only reserved for school. The problem is, of course, that I knew this already. Having it demonstrated in technicolour was edifying but not that necessary as there is still the main problem- what do I do with that knowledge? What can I do with that knowledge? The answer is: a big fat nothing at the moment. She has to go to school. In fact, she wants to go to school, if only to see her friends.
So here is a question for you to stick in your pipe and smoke- what good is knowledge of something that needs to be changed if you can’t do anything to change it?
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