Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tiny Dancer

Claire began dance class last Tuesday. She was so, so excited. She's talked about nothing except dance ever since Alair's dance recital in May. She can't wait until it's her turn to have a recital and dance on the stage.
A week before class started, we went shopping to buy her gear. I took her to Payless to get shoes. Claire had the choice of pink, white, or black ballet slippers, and since Alair had pink ones, and Claire loves pink, I naturally assumed that that's what she would pick out. Nope. Claire decided she wanted black. I was impressed. After trying on a couple of sizes, we bought a pair of (very tiny and adorable) size 8 ballet slippers.
Next came the tap shoes. Or as Claire refers to them, "tap-tap" shoes. I had her go up to the front of the store where it wasn't carpeted and told her to try them out. She grinned at me, held out her arms, and performed a few of the dance steps Alair has taught her over the summer. I have rarely seen anything so precious.
Then we went to Target for a leotard and tights. There we had a choice of black, pink, or blue. I told Claire that she could have any color, but the style should be plain, not with any fluffy skirts. I told her this not because it's a rule at her class, but because I would have had a harder time keeping her from wanting to play in it if it looked like something a princess would wear.
Well, the styles she liked didn't come in the size she needed. So we went to WalMart. The selections were far fewer, and we got a plain pink leotard and pink dance tights.
Then on to JoAnn Fabrics to pick out material for her dance bag. I had made one for Alair as a present at her recital. It was pink and lavender and had ballet fairies all over it. I figured we'd get something similar for Claire. Nope. Claire picked out black fabric with brightly colored, narrow stripes, and matching fabric with dots for the lining. I was impressed.
When the time finally came for her first class, I took her in and she put on her tap-tap shoes. Then she sat next to Alair on the floor with the rest of the class of nine little girls. Miss Sarah asked who was three years old. Only Claire raised her hand. There were a couple of 4-year-olds and mostly 5-year-olds. Claire was completely undaunted by being the youngest in the class. I wasn't too worried either. She had been told to do everything her teacher told her to do, and she was so eager to learn to dance that I knew she would do fine.
Miss Sarah had the girls stand up and spread out. Claire held out her arms to make sure she wasn't too close to any other girls. She was looking around, clearly making sure that she was doing the right thing. The best word to describe her expression is "earnest."
The girls started tapping. The noise nine little girls make with tap shoes in a small room rivals rock concerts, I'm sure. I left shortly after to take Natalie to the library, and I don't think Claire even noticed my absence. I came back at the end, and Claire was thrilled but tired.
We're going to have to work on managing the exhaustion, because Claire is very difficult to reason with when she's tired, and obviously, she's even more tired when dance is over. But overall, I think this is going to be a great activity for Claire.

Friday, September 17, 2010


I'm praying today for the father of my children that he receives some peace from God.

He doesn't deserve it. But then, neither do I, and I received God's peace.

But he needs it, just like I did.

So I pray.

This is not me being noble or unselfish or anything like that. It's me just doing my best to do what's right.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Every New Beginning...

...comes from some other beginning's end.

My divorce was final last Friday. It was completely anti-climactic. I did not feel any different. I'm keeping my last name. The girls' visit schedule was not altered. I now get a check each month for the next 36 months for "spousal support." That's what they're calling alimony these days.

God has definitely worked this painful episode for good. How else could my twinges of discomfort about the church we had been attending be alleviated? How else could Claire be able to grow up alongside Alair? How else could Natalie grow up alongside Carly? Would both girls have had as much exposure to music as they will with Aunt Emmy banging the piano for them and Mommy in the Cannon Valley Lutheran High School band?

It's been tough, being the "tough one." But God has really strengthened my faith in knowing that He works everything for His good and does give me everything I need, just when I need it.

Okay, and yeah, Band. I am THE flute in the CVLHS band. I have no lip left and no breath, considering I haven't played an instrument in nearly 10 years, and I haven't played the flute in over 13 years. But it's coming back, and I'm having a lot of fun.

I am still baking bread. I haven't bought a loaf of bread in a couple of months, since we're not eating as much of it. The girls don't eat lunch at home during the week obviously, so I can keep up with our needs by baking about once a week.

I am in the middle of making my jean quilt. I've got nearly enough squares cut to start sewing, and I can't wait!

I will be buying my nook this week, as my reward to myself. I am looking forward to reading Dante's Inferno with the senior English class, on it. I am in the middle of three books and am waiting for my dad to build me another bookcase, as the ones that were built in at my house are overflowing.

Ahhh, life. It's really quite good, divorced or not.