ava has been dancing her whole life. she's got these hips that don't lie and a groove thang that can put all other little white girl booty shakes to shame. really. so, when the parks and rec catalog floated in and i saw dance classes for toddlers, we signed up. and got ballet shoes. and wore them with socks. and tiptoed everywhere.
this class was the kind of class which doesn't let the mothers watch. i think seth was relieved to learn that. and i was fine with it, too, i swear. except that this was me leaving ava alone with a woman i didn't really know and when i walked away i had this loud, awful nagging feeling, as if i was leaving something important behind (well, i was. i was leaving my child). and that feeling didn't go away. i walked seth across the grass to a nearby playground where we climbed things that were taller than we were and threw sand into the air. and i spent half the time, turning around, looking for the other child and feeling a slight panic rise in my throat when i realized i couldn't see her anywhere. and then i'd remember: dance class. and then i'd feel irritated that i was so uneasy for no reason.
to the childless out there: THIS is what having children does to you. it makes you SO EMOTIONAL you emote for no good reason at all. IT CAN BE WORSE THAN PREGNANCY (which is worse, by the way, than PMS).
i mentioned that ava loves her class, right? well, she does. and every week i go pick her up and her teacher stamps her hand, smiles at me and assures me that ava's doing well. which is necessary information since i just left my kid alone with her for 40 minutes and damnit, she better have had a good time!
i'm told that there's to be a recital. something that i remember really well until the week of the recital. even the day of ryan asks me, "where do i go to watch ava's dance class?"
did i mention that parenthood means you no longer remember anything? because that happens, too.
so i kick myself for not remembering to inform my mother in law, remind my own mother who has a dentist appointment and hurry us all up so we can get over there on time. i do not want to be the mother who is late and misses the whole thing.
we get in there, get our seats, spot my dad, who, at the last minute, has had the chance to slip in, ava's got her little tutu on and her hair in a ponytail and it begins.
the teacher sort of stands to the side and helps the girls know what to do by doing it and those girls start mimicking with a sort of clumsy and joyful enthusiasm. they're hopping haphazardly, they're throwing their arms in the air, they're watching their parent's faces and cameras beam at them with pride.
except ava. who, for some unknown reason, is angry. and stands there the entire time like this:
THE ENTIRE TIME. about halfway through another mother, who is sitting right next to me, leans over to comment, "she seems rather pissed off."
and i can only say, through my tears from laughing so hard the entire classroom is shaking, "she does, doesn't she?"