Posted on: Monday
Monday mornings are exciting mornings. We wake a bit earlier than usual and go about our morning routines, eating our oatmeal and drinking our coffee and brushing the tangles from our hair. As the minutes tick on, the excitement grows. We pack our bags and dress in the carefully selected outfits that we laid out the night before, squeezing into our tights and pulling on our boots. Then we pile on our coats and hats and mittens, and we're off. Off to ballet.
On monday mornings, Biet authoritatively tells her Papa, "Papa, we're going dancing. Papa and Baby Lou stay home! Mama and Biet go to ballet. We're going on the train and we can't be late!" Then she kisses him over and over, and squeezes her brother a little too hard, and calls out, as we're walking towards the door, "Byeeee! I love you toooo much!". We walk to the station, sans stroller, deep in conversation all the while, and hop on the train to the west village. It's all very ceremonial.
Often times, Biet takes off her coat on the train and just sits on the hard plastic subway seat in her tights and leotard. She points her little legs straight outwards towards the subway bar and and whispers to herself, while practicing diligently, "point, flex, point... flex." She tells me that today she's going to listen to the teacher and she's going to try. I tell her that trying is the most important part, and I tell her how proud I am of her when she tries. Giddy with anticipation, we step off the train. We ride the elevator up to the street, and hurriedly walk to the ballet school.
Biet's first few ballet classes were traumatically disastrous. Her heartbreaking tears and tantrums and self-inflicted time-outs in the corner had me this close to giving up on the whole thing. If it weren't for another Mom in our class confiding in me that her daughter, a little girl a bit older than Biet who seemed to thrive in the class, was the exact same way when she first began, I likely wouldn't have continued. But we tried again, and again, and one week, everything clicked. Suddenly, instead of feeling embarrassed or scared, Biet took my hand, and began dancing, and laughing, and making friends. I was overjoyed. She began to take pride in trying and in listening to her teacher. She began to really love it. When she started proudly showing off her ballet outside of school to our friends and family, and "teaching" baby Lou her moves, I knew that she was really coming into her own.
Now Monday mornings are one of the most exciting mornings of the week. When we get to class we sit on a little wooden bench outside of our room and Biet takes off her boots and puts on her tiny ballet shoes. The piano drifts through the halls of the old school and actual professional ballerinas rush about from room to room. Sometimes we peek our heads in to the big studios, lined with statuesque pillars and giant windows, and watch the dancers rehearse. As we watch them gracefully leaping and moving, I can sense that Biet feels the camaraderie, like she's really a part of something. To her, those professional ballerinas rehearsing The Nutcracker for the winter performance are no different than her learning first position in her toddler class.
We've both grown to cherish our ballet mornings together. I feel so privileged to be able to watch my baby grow into such an amazing little girl. She makes me such a proud Mama.
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