I took ballet classes for years, five days a week, even though I wasn’t ever very good at it. I’m so relieved that soccer is over, just to be done with the driving to and from practice and I think of my poor mother driving me to and from ballet, every day, and I feel really, really badly.
Being all short and more buff than gazellelike, I should have maybe stuck with gymnastics or soccer, but I loved ballet. I loved the music and the repetition and the challenge. I’d never been to New York, but I wanted to live there and be a dancer. My apartment would have space for a barre, and I’d look out over the grey city while I went through my warm up.
Once, my studio went to watch the San Francisco ballet practice at their studio, and I was so impressed I couldn’t stand it. I could hardly breathe. For some reason I remember that trip as the first time I ever heard Paul Harvey on the radio. It was when we were looking for a place to park.
It’s been a long, long time since I took a dance class, but still, when I’m really busy and trying to focus, I count. one two three, one two three, one two three It’s just this background, soothing thing I do when I’m overwhelmed and need to keep my brain’s hands full so it doesn’t choke me. That maybe sounds much more dramatic than the reality. But, you know, when your mind is going off in all directions and they’re directions like sad and worried and stressed, it’s handy to be able to pull in the reigns with some number repetition. one two three, one two three, one two three
I didn’t mind, but during baseball season when your younger brother had practice and the girls were little and everything happened right at dinner time, it was sometimes chaotic. But I wasn’t working outside the home, so it was my job at the time. Some days now, I’d trade in a NY minute!
It’s scary how clueless I was about all the other stuff you had to do at the time. I make sure my kids KNOW what a pain they are. (kidding)