Tap-tap-tap…is this thing on?

Sorry about the long radio silence, nothing bad happened, just a lot of life adjustment, mostly to the new job. It’s…it’s…it pays a helluva lot better and the benefits are outstanding. So, yeah. I paid off my car this month, so yay. But yeah, it’s different, and my brain is too tired to blog.

My former (contractor) position remains unfilled. I’ve let them know that if they want to make it an employee position, which it really SHOULD be, I’d come back, but 6.5 years of no vacations and no sick days and a salary I earned in the 90s was enough, thankyouverymuch.

But mostly I just want to hang in until I can retire in a couple of years and go work at Disney. I’ll be 64 at the end of this month. I see the end zone, I just have to keep on going….

Current events: I cannot, I just cannot, talk about it, I have to protect my mental health and blood pressure. (Insert endless streams of profanity.) We are at all hands on deck here, so don’t despair and don’t bitch, just do everything you can to GOTV, donate to candidates, write postcards, phone bank and door knock if you have anything left at the end of your workday, because we are fighting for democracy here. And we can win. We just have to turn out in November in numbers too big to challenge or cheat. Sitting it out is literally a vote for fascism. We are there, we are living in an existential threat. Wait, I said I wasn’t going to talk about it. Changing subject.

Today was The Dancer’s school recital, so of course I was there. Our seats weren’t great so no photos. My daughter was, I could tell, very irritated with everything but there was no time to talk. Fingers crossed that this is the last year of dance, but I’m guessing it will not be, because it’s The Dancer’s world.

I was struck by this watching this year’s crop of tiny dancers – the three and four year olds – facing their first recitals. It did not go well. In the first dance one little one just stood there and cried, while the rest either danced a bit or just looked confused and overwhelmed. One girl in that group definitely had It, that performance spark, and I suspect she’ll be stalked for the tiny dance team when she’s 5. It was kind of like that all the way through with this year’s crop of littles, they were noticeably not as bubbly as The Dancer and her cohort were. Some of the girls she danced with as Tiny Tots went with her through the very junior classes and then onto the competition team.

It’s not that The Dancer was a born superstar at 3 and 4 years old, but a lot of that group of little girls were really good and LOVED to dance, you could see they were just having a ball on stage. They’ve grown and supported and fought with each other, like family. I’ll have to see if her mom has the video of her giving subtle cues to one of her friends during a tiny tot performance, while smiling and emoting like crazy for the audience, it was priceless.

I did wonder if the current group of littles really are showing the effects of missing out on socialization during the COVID lockdown, but honestly, in FL it was never more than half-assed and abandoned quickly, so I don’t think that could be it. More likely it was just first recital freakout. It’s not at the studio, they’ve totally outgrown that space, so it was held on a stage at a high school with a big audience and professional sound and lights and lots of chaos, and it was just a bit much for the little ones.

The Dancer of course is an old pro at this, she’s danced all over the state at this point and does her own hair (it’s a ballet bun for every dance, they’re not showgirls, but that bun is a bitch to get perfect) and does her own costume changes at 10, but even when she was 4 she took this in stride. I never had that confidence, but I’m really glad she has it.

Swim team starts soon. Grandma still has her fingers crossed that she’ll switch to swimming in middle school and then high school, but we still have to get through 5th grade, I think she’ll be more inclined to give it up when she starts middle school.

But then I see the girls who were in their teens when she started at 3 and are now back after college to teach part time, because this studio really is a bit of a cult, I mean FAMILY. I see the girl who was her Big Sister at maybe 11 or 12? When she started on the team as a little, and I’ve watched that girl mature into a different person.

This girl was a skinny blonde, all knees and elbows and glasses and braces, and so sweet and so nice and a really good, responsible, caring kid and a very good dancer, but definitely a geek. Last year I saw her on stage in a solo, and she had morphed into a superhero. She wore a black long sleeved crop top and flowy pants and bold eyes and red lipstick, she had contacts and the braces were gone, and she exuded confidence and poise and her dance was dramatic and powerful. I just sat there awestruck – the all knees and elbows gawky glasses and braces kid looked like a young Uma Thurman, elegant and confident and a wee bit dangerous and freaking beautiful, ready to conquer the world. Holy shit, when did this happen? So yeah, while reality TV makes dance look ridiculous and trashy (and it can be) it’s also kind of awesome with the right teachers. I don’t know if this girl will continue to dance or return to the studio as an instructor, but I know she’ll arrive at college ready to take charge of her life.

Yes, Delaney is going into 5th grade. Yes, I do feel old as fuck.

4 thoughts on “Tap-tap-tap…is this thing on?”

  1. I’m glad all is well. Hoping the excess of the new job subsides at least a bit so you can breathe a bit. One it’s ONLY 5th grade??!? She looks like she’s a teen already… o.O.

  2. Great to have an update! Totally agree, the current state of affairs is almost impossible to comprehend. The Dancer is I’m sure impressive but hope she changes to swimming, healthier.

    1. Oh me too regarding swimming. She’s very good at it, maybe even better than dancing, and it’s a lifelong exercise (and a hell of a lot cheaper than dance-which is a big issue). But it’ll have to be her decision, after she weighs her options.

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