Its week 3 of summer dance, about 1 month until school starts, 51 days til my wedding and about 1000 things that need to get started and in turn completed before school and the wedding. I always remember summer as being lazy and carefree, but I suppose that is when you are the kid not the parent.
Abbey absolutely loves her new summer program! She is there on MWF and with my mom on TTH; she has dance on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 4&3 hours each day. Our weekends are filling up with wedding related appointments, birthday parties, and I have got to get to the zoo to see Miss Fiona before she gets too much bigger! While I wish that Abbey did not go through the incident that she did, I am thrilled to have found this new place, where she doesn't dread going, likes the food, has better friends and is allowed to pack her own snacks and lunch. (I am assuming there are NO allergies in the program, because there are literally no restrictions on food there) I also noticed that the teachers here seem to care a bit more about how the kids behave in general. There are no "mean girls" allowed, and if anyone is caught excluding someone they get a time out. The school age children have more choices about what they want to do and they have a larger space to occupy. They are also allowed to bring electronics and Abbey is most happy when not separated from her ipad! Abbey is also a lot more pleasant at home, less argumentative, less mean spirited and generally happier. I will report back next week and in the even this is a fluke or that my real daughter was replaced by the body snatchers.
Last night was the hardest dance day, 4 hours, lyrical, ACRO, ballet tech, jazz and tapp. Makes my feet hurt just thinking about it. Since my mom is there on Tuesdays, she now drops her off and I go to the gym after work and meet up with my dance mom friends in the lobby later in the evening. Yesterday we got our "invoices" and totals for competition fees and costume fees. Larger price tag than we are use to, as our babies are transitioning to "big girls" or as Abbey calls it "medium girls." We chatted and laughed, sharing our own personal frustrations, like my wedding planning, trying to buy a house and traveling we didn't want to do. I can't even imagine my life without these ladies to help me not feel crazy on dance days and in the midst of competition hair and make up.
On the ride home, Abbey asked about a few activities she wanted to do and I did have to tell her we got the bill for dance, and that on top of other expenses we might have to scale back on a few activities that are just "extra" like trips to Starbucks and eating out on the weekends. She actually teared up a bit. She said " oh my gosh mommy do we have enough money for dance?!" I replied yes, but this is how budgeting works, you prioritize what is important and I explained I know dance is special to her. Then I wanted to cry...
" yes mom, dance is my favorite. Dance is the one place I go where I can forget about all of my problems. When Im at dance, I forget that I have ADHD, tubes in my ears and everything else. When Im dancing Im just like the other regular kids and it feels great."
I thought my heart might explode. I am so happy that what I suspected for awhile was true. When Abbey dances, even in the beginning while she is learning, she has this drive and focus that I dont see during any other activity. She seems genuinely comfortable with herself and her mind and body are working together. It makes her feel balanced and whole and I am just overwhelmed with admiration for this amazing child, (who makes me want to pull all my hair out most of the time) who is trying so hard to get it right and please her instructors.
It made the sticker shock fade away, and reminded me why its worth every penny. She is not likely to dance on broadway or with the NYC ballet company, but one day she will remember how dance made her feel and know that she in fact is NOT like the other kids, she is special.
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