A crazy unexpected thing happened today when I brought my 3 year old son C to his dance class. I found out that he has a dance concert on Sunday, at 2 pm.
I found this out because I saw a poster for all of the school’s dance concerts, and thought, wouldn’t it be fun to take C to a show so he could see what the bigger kids are doing! I scanned the schedule to see if there was one that fit into our schedule. There wasn’t. But suddenly I was jarred out of my determination to not whimsically take the kid to a dance concert just on a lark. I saw his class listed.
I read the listing a couple of times.
Creative Movement 1 Kat/Thursday
-That’s not even C’s class. That’s not even his instructor or class day, (protesting) his class is Creative Movement 1 and instructor’s name is Kat and he has class today, not Thursday.
-Oh. Today is Thursday.
-Maybe Kat picked some special students to show off their special dance skills, not C.
-Does she have some kind of issue with my kid? His moves are fucking incredible.
-I can’t be there, I have a thing at 12 pm that runs until at least 4 pm.
-Why didn’t anyone tell me? Why wasn’t this listed anywhere?
-Oh wait, this is the first time I’ve done dance class drop-off in at least a month. The babysitter probably knew about it, and didn’t tell me because she assumed I knew. She didn’t realize I’m just that ignorant about dance class.
-What else do I not know about my kid?
For a second I started to think that my thing, a town hall style meeting for Fringe, in which I have a show this August, would have to take precedence over C’s thing, that maybe he wouldn’t be able to do his thing. I mean, what difference would it make to him? He wouldn’t even know about the thing, right? It wouldn’t even be a blip.
I thought about how important my work is to me. How I want to be at the meeting (even though I don’t really want to be at the meeting, I’m basically anti-meeting) to make sure I don’t miss any details, or look like I’m blowing something off. Plus it’s my show, and I love my show, and I want to be conclusive about its details.
One time in high school I did my first show. I’d done chorus concerts before, and once played the wishing well in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, but this was my first like play-type-play. It was called The Bird it Nellie’s Hat, and it was under the auspices of the drama club. The play had maybe 12 parts for women in it, so it made sense that the freshmen girls at a girls school would do the play. Also it was relatively innocuous. It was about Nellie, who got a new hat, that had a stuffed bird on it. I don’t remember what my character thought about it, but I got to wear a hat too, and I think I had a few lines.
My parents (dad and step-mom) didn’t come to Nellie’s Hat. My dad had said he’d try to come, but in the end he hadn’t come. I know he had lots of really valid reasons why he couldn’t make it, like taking care of my brother, and having a wife who was losing her shit, and working full time, and whatever else. And I know I wasn’t 3 years old, but he didn’t come, and he was over an hour late picking me up after the show.
By the time he was pulling around the school’s drive, in his black-with-a-bird-painted-on-the-hood firebird, Sister Mary Stevenson was suggesting she have a room made up for me in the convent.
Before I knew how to write words, I used to sit in the dress-up play corner of my Gram’s basement and write. My Gram says I said I wanted to be a writer. That makes me feel silly, but I remember it, too. And making my cousin Alisha and my neighbor friend Nikki dress up, and telling them lines to say, and making a play with dress-up clothes over swimsuits.
So I made a new plan: on Sunday, Charlie will come with me to this meeting. We’ll ditch early and speed across town to his recital. Then we’ll go for an ice cream to celebrate.