Penny had been asking me what the little building in our local park was for as long as I could remember. "It's a dance studio", I said, "for girls and boys to take different kinds of dance classes." "I can go?" she would ask over and over again, until I told her I would look on the internet to see if they had a preschool class. And they did, so I signed her up. Six weeks of half hour "pre-ballet". She would ask me when it started and I would tell her, "Summertime". She told her grandparents every single week, "I'm taking a dance class in Summertime". Everyone was excited. "Is it Summertime yet?" she would ask me every day on the way home from preschool. Finally, it was Summertime.
I made her an outfit, a knitted sweater (details HERE in a Ravelry link) and sewed a tutu to match. She couldn't wait to wear it. We got to the park early, saw our friends, and ran around after bubbles their daughter blew to mine. She looked at the dance studio. Finally, it was time to go in.
There wasn't any dancing. She didn't leave my side. There were new girls and a new teacher, and she just couldn't do it. At least, not yet. Tomorrow, we'll try it again. Or maybe we won't. I think she might just want to play outside, and that's ok, too. I just don't want her to not try again, with anything, just because it's new.
This is the story of Penny. Nervous about water on the hottest day, scared of new foods and new places and new people, she loves them all once they're not new. So I'll continue to encourage, sometimes with more gusto than other times. I know she reads the disappointment in my face. "You happy mama?" she'll ask me as we're getting our shoes on once the class is over and all we've done is some coloring with her little sister and the other younger siblings. Maybe we'll just continue to dance in the living room every night before bed - the four of us, her family. Last week, before I turned out the light at bedtime she said, "I went to dance class, but I didn't dance. I was a little bit scared". It broke my heart, but tomorrow is another day.