Monday, June 16, 2008

Move Over Baryshnikov!

If it is possible to actually burst with pride, I think I'm at that bursting point. Last night my son performed in his first ballet recital. He only began taking lessons about five months ago.

The whole event was a land mine of potential disasters. He had three complete costume changes. *Complete* costume changes -- pants, socks, shirt, jacket, shoes, hat. This is my son, who is about as indifferent to the purpose and proper wearing of clothing as any 10 year old boy on the planet. I made him pack and repack his bag of costumes and then I double-checked his packing twice. I had him make a list of every dance and every article of clothing needed for each.

Then there was the mechanics of these complex costume changes. There are only two boys in the entire ballet school, so they got their own dressing room at the auditorium -- a broom closet. A pretty dirty one at that. A broom closet that looked like it was just waiting for a little boy to drop a sock so it could be lost forever in a dusty corner.

All the other dressing rooms were full of scantily clad girls and women. "Keep your eyes down," I told him, "they're not used to having boys around so they just change in the halls." I'm sure if he were older the prospect would be intriguing, at least, but to a 10 year old, the whole thing was just terrifyingly embarrassing.

To add to his nervous state, he had to wear makeup. I'll just say one word: stoic. The loveliest ballerina in the school put it on him. Stoic, just stoic. I think he should have had a big round of applause then and there. Are you sympathizing with this poor boy yet?

After all these challenges, he almost shrugged off the fact that the whole thing was being filmed for a DVD. Whatever he did on stage would be seen forever by all the families that buy it.

The curtain went up, the little tiny ballerinas came out and did their thing, and the audience settled in for a typical ballet recital experience. Then he came on stage, serious and obviously concentrating. He looked so small, and he stood out in his boy costume among all the tutus.

Then he smiled. He actually started to smile. I started breathing, realizing I had stopped. He got into it. The audience could tell he was enjoying it. Over and over he had little solo leaps and turns in front of the girls. He kept flashing that smile and I think I was probably smiling a lot at that point too. It was wonderful. He beamed when I handed him flowers later after the show.

He loves ballet right now, but if he decides tomorrow he is done, I'll support that decision too. As the mom, it's my job to worry. I hope the world treats him the way he deserves and doesn't label him. I hope he never gives up something he loves because he feels 'different' or 'wrong' to do it. I'd be lying if I didn't say I hope he gets a scholarship someday. But most of all, I hope he keeps smiling.

14 people stopped folding laundry to write:

Monkey Memories said...

Awww, my eyes just watered a bit, must be dusty in here. :)

Goddess in Progress said...

So exciting, and congrats to him on his stage debut!

noble pig said...

I think it's great he is doing it. Just wonderful.

Beth said...

How great that he's doing something he loves to do! Bravo to him! (And to a great mom for supporting him as well)

~Beth

angie said...

Oh my gosh. I'd be bursting with pride too. Wish there was a clip for us to see!

What A Card said...

Congrats to your son. It's wonderful he's dancing, and I hope he continues to do it without any negative ramifications from his peers. Because it sounds like he loves it and he's good at it, which is a terrific combination.

Michelle@Life with Three said...

I think it's fabulous that he's doing something that he enjoys. What a touching post. Reading about his smile made me smile!

Cheryl Lage said...

Sounds to me like you've got not only a talented dancer, but a big personality on your hands. Kudos to you for fostering both aspects!

Reading this, I SO wished I could have been there to see him shine...your words brought the performance...especially that smile...to life.

Sammi T. said...

Hi
I came across your blog from somewhere you know how it is. You start out on one blog and get led to another.
A son in ballet? Awesome, I think thats wonderful. At my daughters recitals the boys always stand out because of their numbers. They are so handsome. Nice blog!

Miss Pearl said...

Tears our flowing - out of a proud Aunt.. . xoxoxo

Good & Crazy said...

did he really choose that all on his own? Good for him! After the nightmare we've had with dance this year, yay for someone who shined!
Male ballet is tough! And if he chooses sports his ballet will totally help him (so they say).

American in Norway said...

Very very sweet... Glad he has something he loves to do!

Elizabeth said...

Woo Hoo! Hope you have a wonderful time watching the DVD!
How great...You have got to let them try what they will and support them all the way.
Blessings, E

BoufMom9 said...

I think it's fantastic!
Good for him and you!
:) Debi

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