There’s a saying: ‘I try to take things one day at a time, but lately, three days attacked me at once!’ In truth, I felt bad almost immediately after I wrote my last entry. God has been too good to us for me to wallow in anything less than joy—joy that, as they say, the world didn’t give and the world can’t take away. I saw in the headlines the number of people who stand to lose jobs in the automotive industry and the numbers of people who are now facing foreclosures, and I realized how very much we have to be thankful for. I look out of the windows and see homes all around where neighbors have had to leave for 4-6 months while contractors repair collapsed roofs and restore sheet rock, basically trying to rebuild a home —hurricane damage doesn’t end just because it’s no longer the hottest topic on the news. Nevertheless, as petty as my trials all seem with a fresh eye, here was my world this week.
Normally, the superhero takes the kids to dance classes in the evenings, allowing me time to catch up on work, housekeeping, and every now and then, a stolen moment of sheer R&R. I miss seeing the kids practice week-to-week, but I also relish the opportunity to check off items on the ever-increasing to-do list. This week was Parent Watch Week at the dance center, where parents get to actually sit inside the classroom and watch the kids dance (normally we all take turns crowding outside a window hoping to catch the right moment when our kid will ‘bust a move’). Our son is performing a duet this year, and actually picking up a “yucky” girl and occasionally holding her hand. The oldest has served as an assistant teacher for several years now in addition to taking classes, and she wanted us to see what she’s doing with “her students.” The youngest is just a ham, simply put. As excited as I was for the kids and for me, the reality of supporting them meant that all five of us had to be ready to go on almost each night, no matter who was on tap for the show. Dinner had to be ready as everyone’s hungry getting back from what turns into a long night. Leotards, tights, and pants had to be washed with strict adherence to the schedule to avoid the last-minute “I can’t finds.” Add to that the reality that when you most need everyone to move on eight cylinders, without fail, you get a collective six from the entire group.
Sitting through that many classes also makes me aware of how many costumes are required for this year’s recital. Several years back, ½ of the money was due in December and the other half was due in April. It worked well for the parents, but I’m sure the dance center had problems with being financially accountable for those outfits, regardless of whether a student quit mid-year or not. Now, 100% of the money is two weeks before Christmas. Though I can appreciate the logic of this decision, it sure puts a Bah humbug-like spirit into the holiday. The older two understand what having to pay hundreds for all the costumes means in terms of actual presents under our tree, and if we’ve taught any lesson well to our kids, it’s the purpose of Christmas and the concept of thankfulness. They’re not the problem; I am. I struggle with the whole juggling act. I find myself resentful of having to fork over that kind of money two weeks before Christmas Day, and the six-month wait to see the kids parade around in those gorgeous costumes is only mildly placating.
I am also beginning a couple of one-on-one classes with my adult students on next week and feeling very unprepared. In spite of my efforts to research and complete all the other preliminary activities, I’m still nervous. I look at my role as a chance to effect change in everyone I come in contact with, and all the do this, don’t do that rules, and trying to follow them to the letter less you receive a nasty e-mail from an administrator is wearing on me. Yet, we’re coming up on tax season, Christmas season, costumes (see above), and rebounding off hurricane repairs, so I persist.
So, by the time I wrote my last entry, it had all come crashing down—the long evenings, my three jars of molasses in their dragging about, the anxiety about making a difference with my adult students, and the looming budgetary woes. UGHHHHHHH! The fact that it’s now 4 a.m., I couldn’t sleep, and I face a Friday with a couple of surprise errands and a longer school day isn’t helping me, but at least it is Friday. Next week is a short week, and the dance center is on break, so I’ll have a chance to recuperate before the last 1st semester push prior to our 3-week Christmas break.
Having said that, I stayed with the previous post because it was my first try at this way of expressing myself, and I was proud of taking a risk to post such an expression on the very public Internet. I know that’s silly. Prayerfully, I’ll have something equally creative to say when I feel much better. May God bless you.