My friend, Kari, found us a dance class. We bravely enrolled in the intermediate level because we (meaning me) are somewhat delusional. Still, it felt wonderful to move my body like that again. The feeling of copying choreography, moving to music, and wondering how I look so good doing these moves (I was directly behind the teacher so I saw her reflection in the mirror, not mine) felt divine. Then common life got in the way.
Dance class is held on Tuesday nights - 8:30 until 10:00. I've missed the past 6 dance classes due to the many demands of parenthood like going to the church for New Beginnings, teaching all the 12 and 13 year olds how to make Ciabatta bread, laundry, a school band thing, scouts, etc.
Then there's the uncommon demands I didn't see coming. The 11 year old has been hit with a dose of hormones the size of the Pacific Ocean and has given up his carefree, witty, and making-bodily-sounds self for an extra sensitive, alarmed, anxious, and somewhat depressed teen-ager. It is much, MUCH worse than when the girls hit puberty. Although I'll admit that puberty exacerbated one girl's OCD tendencies and she's been medicated every day since and I have NO regrets. He now feels guilty about every little action, deed and thought he has ever had that might be "wrong" and has been purging himself every waking moment at home. He spent three days telling me every misbehavior, passing thought, possible lie, and bad word he's considered. He's cried and talked and I've listened. After 3 days, I texted Scott: Help me. Scott took him out for some man time and I have no idea what they discussed but he felt better. Then he continued with his tirades. He has realized he is a carnal being. Girls are "hot" and he feels guilty about it.
The 14 year old is doing much better with grades and homework and anxiety, although she's still challenging at times. Yesterday I had to physically hold my hands behind my back so I didn't slap her when she yelled at me to "Shut it!" Puberty is still raging within her and I'm not always good at gauging how she might react when she doesn't get her way. Sometimes she's disappointed but accepting. Other times she would frighten Atilla the Hun. Like when she's hungry or tired which is most of the time as she has grown over two inches in the past four months.
The 16 year old is still hanging out with her non-boyfriend. She asked him to Sadie Hawkins and informed me it is a 1920's theme. Do I have a dress from the 1920's?
Dude. How old do you think I am?
Still, I took both girls to the fabric store for projects they will be starting this week in their sewing classes and came across some fabric that was polyester and had ruffles about every inch or two. Polyester means hemming is optional. Ruffles means I don't have to sew them on and they are all over the dress. Yes, dress. I bought a yard and then some and sewed this amazing (my unbiased opinion) dress that, when combined with a tie on the hips, gives the illusion of a drop waist flapper dress. I worked on it last night during dinner then while she was at Young Women's at the church. I am completely in love with the dress. Because I don't sew. Not really. But I thought up a simple pattern, cut a little inward for sleeves and sewed straight lines and it is a beauty. I can't rant and rave enough about it.
Today the 16 year old informed me that the group she is going with will be wearing matching T-shirts and accessories.
The 6 year old still charms me. He is exhausting at times but charming.
But amidst the 11 year old confessions, the tired and hungry Hun, and cleaning up fabric from the stunning dress, I slipped into my ratty cut-off yoga pants and a shirt that is passable as clean and left some of my children in midsentence to drive away to dance class.
And I danced.
I am behind at least 32 counts on 4 dances they have been learning but I refused to step to the side to watch. I moved. I grooved. I pirouetted. I hipped, I hopped. I popped. I tipped. I turned. I sweat. I danced.
Afterward Kari and I put on our shoes and walked outside. I started lamenting how hard parenting is. Kari is my analytical, pragmatic, and unflappable working mother friend. She informed me that she has one child with anxiety who is pulling out her eyebrows and eyelashes, one child so sullen and hostile, he is no longer allowed to speak, and a new diagnosis of ADHD for her third child.
Twenty minutes later, we had purged ourselves of our parenting challenges and agreed they are doozies. Still feeling a soft spot for her own six year old, she laughingly told me that he approached her earlier that night and hesitantly asked, "When you told us you would kick our asses, did you mean me, too?" After apologizing for her language, she assured him that he was included. Parenting even affects the calmest of women.
"No segue, here," I concluded, "but did you know that some animals eat their young?"
"Bastards," she mumbled. I think I saw a hint of envy in her eyes.