July 19, 2013
Arlo’s Vision: An Update
Yesterday Arlo has his yearly check-up at Duke Pediatric Eye Center. Last year, when he was a little over a year old, we learned through genetic testing that Arlo had Oculocutaneous Albinism type 2 and that his visual acuity was very good for someone with the condition. But they also told us we would need to wait until he was old enough to actually tell us what he could see in order to understand the full scope of how his condition was impacting his vision. In the meantime, we have continued to watch Arlo’s vision improve and have been eager for an update from his Opthamologist.
The first specialist that we saw projected a series of black and white shapes on a screen across the room: symbols such as a house, a car, a hand and a duck. She asked Arlo to identify them outloud. He is shy and usually takes a little while to warm up to new people, but he responded to her requests - quietly saying “hand” or “house” as she asked him what he saw on the screen.
When she covered one eye with a little hand held spoon, we watched as his nystagmus (an involuntary side to side movement of the eyes) began to go crazy. Arlo controls his nystagmus really well, so it was really interesting to watch his eyes react as he adjusted to using vision only out of one eye. I actually think his nystagmus makes him so uniquely beautiful because I notice it most when he is really happy. When he really loves something, his eyes will flutter back and forth like a character in a classic cartoon when they fall in love. It’s such a stunning, visible reaction to joy. It’s as if he always wears his heart on his sleeve, or in this case, his eyes.
The next specialist checked his eyes for a null point. A null point is a corrective measure that people with nystagmus learn to do to control their eye movements. They often find a place in their vision where their eyes will stay still and hold their eyes there in order to see more clearly. Sometimes this also means they have to compensate by holding their head to the side or looking out of the side of their eyes a lot (or up or down, depending on where their null point might be). If it the compensation is significant, sometimes a null point has to be corrected with surgery. Last year, they noticed a small null point in Arlo’s vision when he looked to the left, but this year, it was no longer there. The specialist commented that Arlo has fantastic control over his nystagmus and is able to hold his eyes still, looking straight ahead, when he wants to focus on something. She also checked him for any potential strabismus, which is when one or both of the eyes turn out or inward involuntarily. This is a common challenge with albinism and can often be corrected by patching the strong eye and forcing the weak eye to realign. Fortunately, Arlo has never had any strabismus.
Arlo’s last stop of the day was Dr. Buckley’s chair. Dr. Buckley is a renowned pediatric opthamologist who specializes in eye conditions like nystagmus and albinism. Whereas Arlo had been a little shy and insisted on sitting on Brent’s lap through the first two meetings of our morning, he happily climbed up into Dr. Buckley’s chair on his own. Dr. Buckley did another series of eye exams and gave us the great news that Arlo’s vision is 20/30 in one eye and 20/40 in the other. This is completely average vision for a two year old child as their eyes are still continuing to grow and do not usually reach perfect vision until late childhood. Every website that I have found on albinism states that people with albinism have vision ranging from 20/40 to 20/400. Arlo is already seeing better than the best case scenario for his condition! There is potential at this point, that as his vision continues to improve through adolescents, Arlo could have 20/20 or 20/30 vision. That’s better than MY vision! It feels miraculous to me, honestly.
Dr.Buckley also stated he was really impressed with Arlo’s ability to identify all of the shapes on the first eye test at 2 years old, as they usually have to wait until children are 3 or 4 years old to get a definitive reading on their visual acuity.
Considering that Arlo also had a speech delay of 9 months in comparison to his peers at 19 months old, this is an even greater feat for our little guy! His speech therapy has made huge strides in his verbal communication and has caught him back up to within just a month or two of his peers.
Dr. Buckley told us he has no major concerns for Arlo’s vision at this time. His chance of wearing glasses as he grows up are the same as any other child. Essentially, besides his photophobia (extreme sensitivity to sun light) his albinism is not having any major impact on his vision.
This is truly God’s work. I don’t know any other way to explain it.
I think back to the post I wrote after Arlo had first been diagnosed. I had no idea what an albinism diagnosis would mean for our son’s future. As the years have passed and I’ve met other families and immersed myself in the albinism community, I’ve learned that albinism is nothing to have grieved over like I did in those early days - The fact has always remained that his condition will never stop him from doing anything he sets his heart to do, regardless of how well he can or can not see. But I can’t deny that it is amazing to be where we are right now, with such an incredible prognosis for his vision.
July 17, 2013
When we left, I knew it would be a long time before we returned. When I say that the city changed the course of my life, I say it with absolute certainty. It shaped me. Molded my spirit. Awakened the women I was growing into.
I haven’t talked much about San Francisco on this blog for some time now, and part of it is because I am so very homesick for a place that I only called home for two years. Two short years. A blip in the course of a life. But it was there that I came to know my husband. Not in the childish, puppy hearted way in which I fallen into love with him. But in a very real, vulnerable to our depths sort of way.
San Francisco is where I grew a back bone. Where I found friendships that will last the rest of my days. Where I birthed my first child into this world. Where I was cold to the bone and warmed through. It was the first dream I ever put out into the world that was actualized start to finish.
When I was 25 years old, I met San Francisco for the first time. Drawn in without hesitation, brand new but with the familiarity of a long time love. I was intoxicated. I called up my boyfriend on that first night in my hotel room near Union Square and told him, drunk on wine, that we would live here if it were the last thing we ever did.
I was being dramatic, but I meant it.
Two years later, the boyfriend was my husband and we stepped off a plane as newlyweds, pulling along an oversized red suitcase, two dog carriers and our heads in the clouds. Those days are so removed from my life now that I think on them with the same fondness of the summer beach trips of my childhood. I skim over the details of how dead broke we were or the dark and dreary apartment where we lived or how our bikes kept getting stolen. I linger time and time again on the hours we spent laying on blankets in parks across the city, some days more than one as we chased the sun and escaped the fog. The fog… our daily companion. It crept along on our adventures every day at three pm like clockwork. A milky filter through which we carried on.
When it was time to say goodbye, we did so without much fanfare. Our goodbye was anticlimatic, given the wild and delirious way in which we had consumed the city for two years. Alone together, we had one last happy hour drink in our favorite bar on Divisadero, our infant daughter asleep in the crook of my arm while I sipped down the bittersweet moment. We left with so much more than we came. Packing our moving truck nearly to burst with beloved pieces we had drug in off the sidewalk and called our own.
We always planned to go home. To set our roots down in North Carolina. To raise our children amongst family and the familiarity of the place where we met and fell in love. But I’m still saying goodbye to San Francisco. Quietly, all the time.
Three years have passed and for all my traveling, I have not been back. More years I have spent away than amongst the candy colored Victorians that once lined my walk home from the train. But I will make no excuses for still calling it my own. Because it will always be so. A blip. A moment. A lifetime.
I could almost convince myself it was a dream, were it not for the tangible remnants of our time there- a handful of cherished friendships, a few battered furniture pieces in our home, a light blue dress from a vintage shop on Haight St. that never fails to make me feel like a woman, and a little girl, with deep brown eyes whose birth certificate will always list San Francisco as the place where she began.
I watched this video in the quiet darkness last night and felt the need to reminisce. Thanks for indulging me.
July 16, 2013
Early in my career, I once sat in a training that was supposed to teach us about how our personalities and work habits affected our colleagues and career paths. It was sort of a Meyers-Briggs test for the corporate set. One of the exercises was to choose a motto that felt most appropriate among a table strewn with inspirational, encouraging and realistic attitude advice. My eyes immediately gravitated to a piece of paper with the words “Fake it till you make it” typed across it. I remember my manager furrowing her brow at my choice. “You should never fake anything, Melissa,” she told me. “You shouldn’t do something until you know how to do it right.” My face turned red in embarrassment and I said nothing, but I knew she was wrong.
Being fully knowledgeable and planning everything out is always best case scenario, but it doesn’t always work out that way. In the corporate world, just like in life, sometimes you have to just be willing to get started, and put the pieces in place while you go along.
The past three and a half years of motherhood has pushed my “Fake it till you make it” mantra to new levels. Like most parents, I have had moments of complete and utter failure and of doubting my own abilities to do the best for my children. I have also had little successes, big wins and even rewarding feedback. But mostly, no matter the outcome, in the day in-day out of our life, I am just faking it until I make it.
I am trying to turn my doubt and fear into forced courage. Courage that eventually morphs into something real, something concrete. With every stage of my children’s development, just when I have begun to feel like I am really doing things well, they turn a developmental corner that requires Brent and I to make significant adjustments in what we do and how we do it. Status quo goes out the window and we are left feeling inadequate again.
My anxiety rages inside me sometimes. My desire to do right by my children, to support and guide them through these young years - it could overwhelm me to the point of paralysis. There is so much to consider, to plan for, to protect against that it makes me afraid to do anything.
And so, in those moments, I fake it. I pretend that I am not scared. I pretend that I am capable. I pretend that I am on the path to figuring it all out. And almost every time, somewhere along the way, my pretend courage becomes real courage.
I am making it.
In spite of myself,
little by little,
I am making it.
I will tell this same thing to Everly and Arlo one day… when the doubt of inexperience and the fear of the unknown wants to knock them down too. Fake it till you make it, baby. The great challenge of life is not letting the fear of what we don’t know prevent us from discovering what we are truly capable of.
July 12, 2013
A collection of preschool insults Everly has thrown my way lately:
You are a meatball!
You can just HOT DOG DIGGITY! (Said very angrily. It was all I could do not to burst into laughter)
I am never letting you babysit my babydoll ever again!
You are a not nice face!
POOP POOP POOP! (her favorite word right now)
I think this food is DUS CUSTIN’ !
Three is such an interesting age, full of creativity and beauty and unprovoked emotional meltdowns. We are dealing with a very smart little girl who is inquisitive and thoughtful and prone to slamming her bedroom door or running away screaming when we suggest she does outrageous things like join us for dinner or take her medicine. (I find it fascinating how she can go from fine to completely hysterical to fine in thirty seconds flat.) I can’t count the number of times in any given day when I think to myself “How am I supposed to handle this? What do I do now?” I am also just going to put it out there that I am officially terrified of the teenage years. I remember how angsty and dramatic I was from seventh grade through early high school and I can only imagine how those years must have been for my parents. The term “threenager” is the single most appropriate term I’ve ever heard to describe this stage. In the meantime, we are trying to make the best decisions with our limited parenting knowledge and attempting to keep a healthy dose of humor and humility about the entire process. Heaven give us the strength!
July 11, 2013
(Photo: Currently, the view from my desk)
I love to tell the story about my first day in the corporate world. I was 24, just a month away from turning 25. Up until the point that I managed to convince the marketing team at an up and coming software company to take a chance on me, I had an English degree (that everyone claimed would be useless unless I decided to teach), a year of experience working for a small music management and events company and a job moonlighting as a server in a downtown pub. Between those two jobs, I was making just enough to pay 1/5th of the rent in a big house I shared with my girlfriends and feed myself. I didn’t know anything about technology but I was so eager, so hungry to learn. I was willing to do any job they offered if it would get my foot in the door.
They paid me next to nothing when I started, but it was still the most money I had ever made. The job also came with benefits and “stock options” (At the time I hadn’t the slightest clue what those were, but years later they would be how my one day husband and I would put the down payment on our first house). I remember exactly what I wore on my first day. (Is it strange that I also remember what I wore on my first day of high school and my first date with Brent?) I walked up to the brick and glass building wearing a brown tweed skirt that hit at the knee, and a lavender cap sleeve blouse. I had chosen the outfit after input from all four of my room mates. I carried an empty black leather briefcase that my godparents had given to me as a college graduation present. I hadn’t the slightest idea what to put in it, but I thought it made me look a little more professional.
It was the first and last day I ever carried that briefcase. It makes me smile now to think of that green girl, her knee bouncing nervously while she waited for her new boss to meet her in the lobby and take her up the elevator to a new desk and to meet her new team. That was almost seven and a half years ago.
This Tuesday I sat at my desk with my knee nervously bouncing again, waiting for the right moment to stick my head into my director’s office. I sat down and told him with a lump in my throat that I had decided to take a new job at another technology company. I spent the majority of the July fourth holiday rolling the offer around in my head. I wasn’t looking for a new job, but I also had started to think recently that it was probably time for me to stretch my wings and seek out new opportunities. When the opportunity to interview for a role at another technology company landed in my lap, I went for it. If nothing else, I thought going through the interview process would be good practice for me. When the new company made me an offer, it suddenly became real that this was the chance I had been looking for - an opportunity to stretch myself beyond the comfort of the place I had spent all of my adult working life.
Change is scary but it is also so exciting. Next month I will find myself again waiting anxiously to be introduced to a new team, a new office, and a new set of job responsibilities. This change also has significant impacts for our family. My new company has consistently been voted one of the best places to work in the world. This role brings with it less travel and better work/life flexibility. The employee benefits are many (and a little mind boggling - on site physicians, childcare subsidies, a gourmet cafeteria and full size Starbucks in my building with $1.50 lattes to name a few) I can’t help but feel a great sense of pride that I have earned my place there.
I have never been much good at goodbyes and I am far too sentimental sometimes. I have been touched by the number of emails and visits I have had this week from colleagues stopping by to congratulate me and tell me they are sad to see me go. I sent an email to my mentor, telling her I was leaving and her words back left me a sobbing mess.
I have learned this week that going forward I will take more time to tell my colleagues how much their hard work and friendship means to me. Not just when they are leaving to take on a new role, but every day for no reason. While I have always felt that I was appreciated here, I have also felt like a very small cog in a very big wheel. This week, the words that have been shared with me have made me realize my time has been more impactful and more meaningful than I knew. I will leave with a heavy and overflowing heart.
Since I have been at my current company, I have gotten engaged, married, moved across the country, and had two children. It has been a true blessing to have been an employee here for so long, especially through the economical challenges of the last five years. It was this company that took a chance on a girl with very little experience…who took her from a girl with an empty briefcase to a woman with a strong career path.
The next three weeks will be spent handing off projects, documenting all the nuances of my role and savoring the time with the wonderful people I currently work with. On August 1st, a new experiences awaits and I’m so excited to see where it takes me.
On to the next career adventure!
July 9, 2013
Work Clothes/Play Clothes
In compiling photos from the last month for this post, I realized I had a lot more dressed up looks than what truly represents my day to day. I am definitely a jeans/shorts and casual top type of girl when I’m not working - but when it comes to the office, I’ve stepped up my game a bit on what I like to wear. My company has a business casual dress code and you can wear jeans as long as they aren’t ripped. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I want to dress the part when it comes to being successful in my role. The clothes certainly don’t make the woman, but dressing up a bit makes me feel great and gives me a little extra confidence to walk into the office every day like I mean business. (Cue the the Rue Paul Anthem Work it Girl here. Shante shante!)
I wore this dress to two weddings this spring and it has been a power piece in my closet for over five years now. It is hands down the most perfect black dress I have ever worn! I love that it has a bit of retro feel but still looks modern and super feminine. I feel elegant every time I wea it, so I take every chance I get! The gorgeous vintage belt was a gift from my godmother and the black clutch was a Christmas present from my father a few years ago.
Top: Line and Dot
Dress: Laura Ashley Kids
I had an important meeting this day and I worried for a moment that the bold print of the skirt paired with this blouse might be too much- but I loved the combo and felt great in it, so I went for it. I kept the shoes neutral to balance things out. This skirt has been one of my favorite recent purchases. It’s also super affordable at only $22.99 at Target (Lucky you - it’s on sale this week for less than $20 here ) . I want to go back and see if they have it in any other prints in this style. It looks and feels far more expensive than it was!
Hat: Hand me down
Dress: Pink Martini (love this blushy/peach color!)
Shoes: c/o Bed|Stu
Thanks to the grandparents, Brent and I found ourselves with a rare mid-day chunk of time to do something together a few weekends ago. We jumped at the chance and headed downtown to do some exploring. There are a bunch of new boutiques and shops that I’ve been wanting to explore and afterwards, we met up with some friends for a beer on the patio at the bar where we met. There are two elements of this outfit I really love - first, the felt hat. It was a hand-me-down from my mother in law that has quickly become my favorite hat ever. I wear it several times a week. And these gorgeous oxfords. They are handmade in Brooklyn but a super cool shoe company called Bed|Stu . More on them soon (including a reader giveaway) but I love how incredibly comfortable and stylish these beauties are.
Shoes: c/o Minx Boutique
There’s that leopard print skirt again! I wore it a lot this past month because I love it so much. In this look, I kept it a bit more neutral and paired it with a pretty cream peplum top and added a bright element in these gorgeous suede wedges. These wedges are so comfortable and I love this pretty coral colors.
Dress: Stitch Fix
Belt: An old one I’ve had forever
Shoes: c/o Minx Boutique
I wore this over the Fourth of July holiday. We met some friends in Durham to check out some cool kid-friendly spots and grab lunch. I usually don’t like to be matchy matchy - but I thought these wedges were the perfect compliment to the trim on this dress. This little frock was just a titch too short for me (It’s not a real WC/PC post until I admit that at least once, right?) but I loved it, so I wore it anyway. This outfit definitely kept me comfortable on a hot day!
Summer is definitely my favorite time of the year when it comes to fashion. I love the strappy shoes, the bare legs and the bright colors. I’m looking forward to a July full of all three!
July 8, 2013
I love the Fourth of July holiday so much because it combines so many of my favorite things: summertime, friends and family, and fireworks. As with all holidays - we set out to make it a memorable one for the kids. This year we decided they were old enough to partake in fireworks. We haven’t seen fireworks for the last three years because our children went to bed before they started. But this year…. I planned ahead. When it comes to loud noises, the louder the better for Arlo - but I worried that Everly would not have a good experience as she reacts negatively to loud noises (a passing motorcycle can send her running indoors with her hands over her ears). I prepared her for what to expect by watching youtube videos with her of firework shows. I cranked the speakers up as loud as they would go. “Hear that big boom when the fireworks light up the sky? It’s really loud but so beautiful!” I told her. We read an Olivia book about watching fireworks (Olivia Starts a Band by Ian Falconer) every night leading up to the fourth - and when the day arrived, she was ready and excited.
Instead of traveling this year, we chose to keep it low key and stay home. We invited the Gainers over and spent all day playing in the sprinkler, watching the kids play in the yard, and just enjoying fun in the sun. After dinner at a downtown burger joint, we made our way to the big Fourth of July celebration in downtown Raleigh.
I had high hopes - the website said there would be BMX bike shows (Arlo is obsessed with all things X-games right now) and lots of music and kid activities. The kids looked so cute in their red, white and blue:
But once we got into the thick of things downtown, we began to regret our decision. There were so many people and everyone was crowding into Fayetteville St to get a good view of the smaller, 9:15 fireworks show that due to downtown restrictions, could only be viewed from certain streets (a larger, higher show was set for 10:15pm - well past our kiddos bedtime). Trying to keep four toddler/preschoolers entertained on a street curb, in an area slam packed with people (some of which had partied a little too hard already) was torture for all involved. We sang songs, pulled out iphone games, whatever it took… but the kids were hot and exhausted, the parents were on high alert and the minutes ticked by so slowly. By 9:25pm, when the fireworks had not gone off yet, we all decided we had had enough. Everly was crying to go home. We packed them all up and pushed our way through the crowd feeling disappointed and a little defeated.
Halfway back to the car, we began to hear the boom boom of the fireworks, but because they were so low, we couldn’t see them. It wasn’t until we hit the last street corner before we got to the car that we found a perfect little view to watch the show. We were all so excited! The kids watched in awe and it was really fun for Brent, Natasha, Scotty and I to see how much the children were enjoying it. We stood watching for ten minutes or more, with no one else around. Our own fireworks show amongst the downtown skyline.
And just as I expected: Arlo was thrilled with the boom! He was laughing out loud as they went off:
We still didn’t make it home until after 10pm and were faced with two overly exhausted kids. Everly had a complete meltdown (something she rarely does) and as she sat there screaming and throwing her little arms around on her bed, I spoke quietly and calmly to her. “It’s ok, baby.” I said, “I know you are so sleepy. It’s been such a big day. Let’s take some deep breaths and try to calm down.” It took Brent coming in to hold her for her to finally fall asleep. My mind was turning with the events of the day. There had been some really wonderful, memorable moments for us - our lazy day with dear friends, and the moment we saw the sky light up with fireworks when we were so sure we would miss them - but I was also left wondering if it had been worth it to take our small children downtown into the chaos of such a celebration. As parents, we are constantly trying to find the balance between doing fun, out-of-our-routine type of activities and keeping a level of consistency in our children’s lives required to keep them happy and stable.
Maybe we’ll wait another year or two before attempting to watch fireworks again. Maybe next time we’ll pick a more kid friendly place to watch them (rumor has it that the big field at Dorothea Dix Park had a great view of the downtown fireworks). Or maybe one day I’ll learn not to beat myself up and doubt my parenting judgement when we push the limits on certain activities with our children.
Either way, our fourth of July was a memorable one with lots of high and low moments so familiar to this motherhood journey.
July 5, 2013
Our nation’s birthday is also Everly’s half birthday, and with a birth date so close to Christmas, we make it a point to celebrate the halfway point each summer. We sang happy birthday and presented her with a cupcake and a small, special gift. This year the day included a pink cupcake complete with a little princess crown.
I asked Everly if three and a half felt different than three and she said yes. I asked her how and she said she knew bigger words now, like “Behold”. I told her that it also meant she was getting too tall for all of her dresses. “Well, that’s good news!” she said back.
It is good news. How lucky we all are to watch her grow.
July 1, 2013
There is a ton of buzz in the blog world right now over a really exciting project by documentary film maker, Chris Weigand. He is criss-crossing the United States in a gorgeous, remodeled airstream interviewing bloggers, coast to coast, for his film, American Blogger.
Chris’ wife, Casey, is one of the most genuine, kind and creative women I’ve encountered and the voice behind the blog Casey Leigh. Her experience in writing a blog and growing a community of readers was the catalyst for this entire project. I did my best to capture some shots of Chris’ time here but I couldn’t help but laugh at how funny the scenario was that he was taking videos of me while I took a photo of him.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect when he pulled up. Would it be awkward? Would I get weird on camera? But it actually turned out to be really laid back and Chris instantly felt like an old friend. We did some interview style questions and then we went out to one of our favorite parks to gets some shots of our family doing every day stuff. We invited some of our closest friends to join us for pizza. We laid down blankets, threw the baseball around and let the kids work off some energy.
Chris parked his camper in our backyard that night and it was nice to sit around the dining room table with him, cameras off, and just learn more about him and his family. One of the things we talked about, on camera, and off too - is the human story aspect of blogging. Why do people read blogs? I think it is because a lot of us are naturally curious about others - their passions, their joys, their struggles, and the big and small things that impact their lives. It’s nice to know there are others out there going through similar experiences or to encounter someone whose life is vastly different from our own. Even as a reader of Casey’s blog, I really enjoyed just talking with Chris about his family, the commonalities we share in raising small children and the challenges and beauty in this season of life.
You can learn more about Chris here. Follow the Wiegand family’s adventures on Casey’s blog here. And keep up with where Chris is week to week on his tour of the country by following his Instagram here. He will be visiting a ton of my favorite bloggers over the next two months and when his film is done, it will be available for download on iTunes. I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop when it comes out!
I am really so excited about this film, and honored to be a small part of it.. even better, we made a wonderful new friend in the process.
June 26, 2013
I helped her pull her arms through the soft pink leotard with a little lump in my throat. The moment felt important. Soon after, she stood on our front porch, arm on her hip and as I clicked the button on my camera, I knew I was capturing so much more than a photo.
Everly’s first ballet class.
She has been waiting for this moment for over a year. I searched high and low until I could find a dance studio that had a weekend class for three year olds. Most of them only offered classes on weekday mornings and with my work schedule, I wasn’t going to miss a single one.
She had received some dance gear for her third birthday and she loved dressing up in tights, leotard, tiny leg warmers. It was when we tried to put on her brand new ballet slippers that I realized they were already too small for her. In January, her aunt Janet gave the slippers to her, purposefully buying a half size too big so that she would have plenty of room to grow and they still didn’t fit. We put on a pair of little white shoes in her closet that would have to suffice until I got her a bigger size.
If ever there was a reason to blog - to capture all the little moments - it’s the constant reminder that this stage - my tiny, pink-clad girl with her hair piled high on her head - will be gone before I’m even done soaking her in.
We got to the studio and Everly followed the little group of girls into the room where her class would take place. The teacher announced they would be learning ballet and tap. For some reason I had missed the tap dancing part on the class description when we signed up. While Everly participated, I spoke with the receptionist and learned there was a box of used dance shoes in the corner of the waiting area. I dug through and found a pair of little tap shoes in great condition, a whole size larger than she wears now and was tickled to pay only $5 for them. Let’s hope that she grows slowly enough that they last her through the summer.
When it comes to dance ability, Everly has strong genetics working for and against her. Brent’s sister, aunt, and cousin were classically trained ballerinas who danced for years. Even Brent himself was a ballet dancer for a large part of his youth. But me… I am the exact opposite of graceful. My mother put me in a ballet class when I was a little girl and I basically made funny faces and ran in place for the majority of the class. She pulled me out and put me in gymnastics instead.
I’ve been curious to know which route our Everly would take.
I peeked through the window, a smile on my face, as I watched her concentrate on her teacher’s directions. She skipped and hopped and shimmied and shuffled. She was so enthralled that she never looked up to wave at me - not once. She was having entirely too much fun.
It’s too early to know if she will develop a passion for dance, but I suspect that with practice, her genetic scale is going to lean heavily to the naturally rhythmic and graceful side of her family tree.
And this little guy was so patient during her class… Standing on the bench occasionally to look in and point out sissy, but mainly entertaining himself with a dump truck and toy plane.
My tiny dancer tip toed out at the end of class, glowing. Her first question: “Can I come back next week?” She has asked me every day since how many days until ballet class again.
I was up late on Saturday night, scouring the internet for the best deal on size 8 toddler ballet slippers. Something in my gut tells me I better get used to it… I suspect we are going to be buying dance shoes for years to come.