I want dance lessons, grandma. In the car is when these things come up. I remember these times with uncle AJ and your daddy. What do people do at dance lessons? I ask you. We dance in our tutus. And I have a tutu already. Hmmm. Okay. Next week you and I will go look at a dance class. We will watch first and then have a talk on the way home.
So I googled dance in Santa Cruz and read through all the options finding that even in classes for four-year-olds, boys are asked to wear sweats and t-shirts, not tutus. I don’t want to face this with you. Maybe you can use your tutu at home. Tomorrow we will go and watch a class. We will also go see a gymnastics class for children your age. I tell you that you will have to do what the teacher tells you. You aren’t going to be able to go play somewhere else like at school. You will be expected to join the group, like at Joya’s Mothersong. Everyone does the same thing; staying together. Its how you learn to leap, twirl, swing on bars and roll over safely. Okay? “Maybe yes and maybe no. We’ll see“, you admit. Maybe this summer we won’t go to preschool, but you’ll swim, jump around and twirl. Is that too much to take on? Maybe yes, maybe no, we’ll see.
Yesterday we spent most of the day here at home after a short visit to an open house at a small farm. You wanted to see the ducks, sheep, goats and garden. You surprised me by casually naming irises, lemon balm, calendula, peas, tomatoes, potatoes, rosemary, lavender, trumpet vines, coyote bushes and roses, of course. You really pay attention. All day you asked me, “How do you say this in Spanish, Grandma.” We got out a dictionary and I pronounced each word for you. You smiled and walked away repeating them all day. You searched for a box big enough to hold you and gave up, frustrated, finally sitting on the wooden potty chair instead. You began clucking as Sissy and I stared in wonder. Then you stood and said, I just made 5 eggs come out of my butt. Now I have to keep them warm. They hatched after a bit of sitting and you flapped around the living room pretending to chase off a bobcat, a hawk and our own dogs. My eggs were blue but my chicks are yellow, you tell Liza. Liza, unaware of how important the potty was for your play, opened the potty and dumped a load of rubber fish in. No. You screamed, grabbing onto a hank of the yellow, fluffy hair on the top of her head. That’s my nest! We talked about hurting her, what else you could have done and what her good idea was. That Liza, sniffed back her tears and helpfully, took out the fish, putting them back in their clear toy aquarium so you could have your nest back.
Liza is becoming resilient. She falls and picks herself up. (literally) She slams into the ground, flat-handed, scolding at it for hurting her. Yesterday she gathered her confidence to clamor up on the stool where I sit with my computer, opened it up and began to madly push buttons. The stool tipped over and so intent she was on the button pushing, she clung to the counter edge and continued to push, then dropped to the floor, konked her head and sobbed. She got up, still crying and righted the heavy stool, to get to the computer. Single minded and sure.
Your sister answers questions with Oh, yeah. Do you want to eat? Oh, yeah. From our morning song, Going to see Adrianna, oh yeah. She mixes English and Spanish, Sucio, mama. Agua, si. Eat eat, si, comb-ay (spanish-“come”), oh yeah. She zooms around the house busy with ideas. She pushes babies in strollers, plays with animal figures and boxes and stacks blocks. You and she run and plop on the bed, playing a chase game, over and over. Laughing. Someone always falls and bumps their heads. But I don’t stop the play unless it can go outside. The play together is lovely. She’s my chickie, you tell me. Does she know what to do? Yes. She flaps, see? And has to stay in a box with the lid on. Hmmm. You know what came next.
So many head bumps! Pink eye is over and both kids in back in daycare today. These days are rare, as it turns out. I have some time. I was going to garden but its so dang cold and windy. Grandpa is gone. He’s in Dublin , Ireland at a conference. We have had a lot of time all alone. Today daddy takes you to daycare. Ahhh. Last few weeks of that kind of help. They will move out by the weekend of June 3. No idea where. UGH. Hard time for your mommy and daddy. I told you they were going to move and find a place where you could visit and maybe even have a sleep-over. You asked why? I explained that mommy and daddy were grown-ups and it was time to find their own place. You moved onto another subject. I guess I have relaxed into this parent role a bit more. Less resentful, less angry, less frustrated. But I still find I have to watch my temper. So the feelings are sitting a little deeper, and are not really gone. Feelings are like that. We have to pay attention to them even when they hide, buddy.
I ramble. So I’ll stop for now. I am working on a short film for Grandma Janice Brown in Oregon. I wanted her to see our place, so I captured our day, including going to school and some scenery familiar to her along the way. I am learning to add music and how to edit. So I’ll get back to that now. Loving you, gma
3 thoughts on “Boys in Tutus”
Blessings for a wonderful Grandma. As usual, I miss you and you and your family are always in my thoughts. Jeanne
Judith was here from Southern California with a film team capturing scenes at Adriana’s program. She met Orian who asked her “Are you sad?” “No” she said “but I am a little tired”. “You look lonely” he replied “here – I have a beautiful flower for you” and he took a rather smashed blossom out of his pocket. “Now you have something beautiful, so you won’t be lonely”.
Oh my! I cried when Judith told me this story – and was filled with awe at the job you have done with this sweet boy. It has been so hard Nancy, but what a gift you have given.
You are kind. And I am exhausted. He is very dear. So is Ellie. They really have a natural altruism.