Thursday, March 19, 2009


Yesterday Berit had her first ballet class, and it's still fresh in my mind because it might be the happiest she's ever been. Trevor's mom had wanted to get her ballet lessons for Christmas, and Trevor and I had favored gymnastics instead, thinking that she'd learn more skills that way. Gymnastics did not go well. She was the youngest girl there, needing one teacher's attention constantly to help her climb things the bigger girls were jumping over and hold onto bars that the others' bigger hands could reach around. She didn't like it. 

So for her birthday, we gave Trevor's mom the go-ahead for ballet. Of course, Berit does run around the house every single day in some sort of ballet-esque getup (around the house? She wears it everywhere.), so we were pretty sure she'd like the whole tutu business. But when we arrived, it was like she was taking us to her own beloved home -- strutting down the hallway, announcing that she, Cinderella, was present, taking off her jeans and sweatshirt and plie-ing around the room until the instructor was ready to begin. There were two other girls in her class and she took their hands and inspected their costumes, touched their hair, invited them to dance with her. 

She was in complete awe of the teacher, the music, the mirror, the lesson itself. She called across the room to me, "Look Mama, I'm doing it!" 

When they were taking turns pretending to be animals, the assistant teacher went first. Being a little less on the kid-knowledgeable side than the main teacher, the assistant acted out slowly climbing a tree, then laid across the wooden bar as if she were asleep. The teacher was confused and a little irritated that she didn't do, probably, a cat or a dog, but played along. "Hm, what in the world could that be?" Berit said, "Well she's a silly sloth." And the teacher said, "Oh! Are you a silly sloth?" And the assistant said, "Yes, I am." The main teacher looked at Berit and said, "Now how did you know that?" And Berit said, "I just did. She's a sloth." The teacher then had the nerve to say, "You must watch Madagascar." (I wanted to jump up and shout across the room "No! It's from her National Geographic Kids magazine!!! Though it's more likely from Dora, but whatever.)

Anyway, Berit was brilliant. Her grandpa (part of the four-piece audience Berit had in him, Daddy, Marta and me) said loudly during the class, in full range of the other parents, "Well, she's clearly the smartest one." And, "Yup, she's the best." (Which is not to imply here that she was, but is an example of the awe we were all in while watching her in her ballet glory.)

Marta spent the majority of the class trying to run out to dance with the girls, shrieking in the hallway at the drinking fountain and pressing her tongue and nose up against the glass of the French doors while peering in at the girls after we'd removed her.

1 comment:

Liza said...

Lovely, you must take pics and post them. I have been waiting to see some new ones of your girls and their growing. Glad all is well. Are you as thrilled with the sunshine as I am?