If someone asked me what Tori’s first words were, I would probably say it was, “I want to go to dance class.” That’s not true, of course (I think it was “no”), but it’s definitely been on her mind for a long, long time.
And since the majority of her most fervently wished for wants and desires are remembered for no longer than a week or two, I knew this one must be serious.
That’s why, on a very recent, suspiciously mild January night, I found myself bumping down a rutted road, past construction barrels and road closed signs toward the holy land—her new dance studio.
She burbled at me from the back seat, so excited that she lapsed into Tori speak—a language of which I have only a rudimentary understanding. When we arrived, she nearly flew from the car, dragging me by the finger through the brightly lit entrance.
Then she was off, bounding into the wooden-floored studio, leaving me smiling awkwardly at the other parents outside.
She wasn’t dressed right. Highly organized momma that I am, I forgot to order her tap shoes. And it never even occurred to me that she might need a spiffy pink leotard or sparkly tights.
I cringed with embarrassment when I realized my mistake. But she? Appeared not to care, not even a little bit. Instead she dived right in, doing her best to tap heel-toe, heel-toe, and wave her arms in the air.
Being Tori, though, she found it impossible to stay in line, and often bounded out into the middle of the room. Then, being the bossy little thing she is, she dragged a reluctant little dancer into the action, holding the girl’s hands until she seemed to feel more sure.
In other words, she took to it like, well, a ballerina to a tutu.
When the class was over, she seemed reluctant to go. In fact, she threw herself to the ground in the middle of the dusty parking lot and begged to go back to dance class.
Being the heartless mom that I am, I instead bundled her into the car and listened to her screams all the way home. It was enough to make me wonder if my over-stimulated little girl was really ready to tackle dance class.
That was before I spent an hour and a half putting her to bed, listening to her chatter about tap shoes and dancing and frog hops.
She’s going back, alright. And next week, she’ll have her own pair of shiny tap shoes and tutued leotard.
It’s my job to make her dreams come true (while I still can), after all.