cafe mama

finding magic every day

the dancer who was meant to be . january 31 . 2007

Back when I was getting together with my husband I discovered the song by the Squirrel Nut Zippers called, simply, "Meant to be." It was definitely the anthem of my romantic life then. But now, being a parent, everything has a new meaning and the Zippers' lovely ballad is no different.

What's meant to be? Everett and ballet. For a four-year-old with a football player's body and a bruiser's spirit, the kid just loves to dance. And most especially, ballet. He watches Angelina Ballerina and the videos on the Disney Channel with a fierce attention, afterward launching into a series of awkward-but-awesome dance moves. His favorite, naturally, is that ballet twirl where you put the sole of your foot on the inside of your other knee? You know?

fancy everett
The other day, frustrated by a photo of a friend's daughter at her ballet recital (loved it, only: nothing but pink tutus and buns in their hair, my dear), I set off on a mission to find a dance class for Everett that didn't just accept boys, but actually had boys in a normal session. I mean, I'm hoping to raise a football quarterback just as much (if not more than) my husband is, but (a) no football leagues for four-year-olds and (b) the boy has skills and love for theatrical dance. Who am I to hold out for Pop Warner (and there's not even a league in our city? What?)?

So at first the parents of girls piped up, saying that they'd been to this great community center or that fun tap class and "I'm sure they take both girls and boys!" No, not right. I had almost signed up for pre-ballet at the Laurelhurst Studio when I got a comment about OBT, the premier ballet institution in the region. Brilliant, I thought, and, of course!

The web site didn't look great -- there was an annual program that seemed to only accept children in the summer to do the whole year, and a five-week summer program. In July. When I'd be having a baby. I called, anyway.

"Well!" said the woman who answered. "Usually it's only for the whole year. But we're just deciding tomorrow whether to open up a second class! Leave your name and number..."

Tomorrow came, me having decided that $417 sounded like way too much. The phone rang. Oregon Ballet Thea... urp. "Sarah Gilbert? We have a place for your son Everett!" said the woman. Starting this Saturday.

It's way more money than I can afford (though luckily, only half is due this weekend). A dancing boy fund drive maybe? It's totally impractical. I even already have plans for Saturday.

But, it's funny how things fall in line. I guess, my son is destined to be a dancer. Some things are meant to be.

paying the bills

my life of leisure . january 24 . 2007