Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dance Training at its Best

As I washed her paint crusted hands in warm soapy water this afternoon my daughter succumbed to a nice long yawn followed by a deep breath. I know she's still getting over a cough and could use a nap but I haven't successfully accomplished such a thing in this house yet this year.

Now scrubbing a glittered glob off the counter I hear another nice long yawn from the one who is right underfoot. I was just about to declare quiet time anyway so I see if I can help her to sleep.

My kids always need my help for naps, or else that of a car seat in motion. Up we go. Guiding her brother into his room to his box of spilled tiny legos, their domain already spread over a third of the room. "Find something to do that's quiet, sitting and playing with legos or reading books." The look on both of our faces as he smirks and says, "yes, mommy" reveals that similar words are uttered every day at this time.

Sitting down in my baby's room,  I grab my book and get her settled in to nurse.  As I open up my book I pause to dig through the corners of my brain forcing my memory to remember the last time we successfully sat here.  When was the last time we did this and she gave into sweet repose. I honestly can't find it.  I didn't burn it into my memory, sometime after Thanksgiving, I think. Well before Christmas.

Letting go of the memories of the many attempts since that last unknown nap, I look at her. She lets go looking up, "which sizes" she says and smiles, "pleasssse."  Holding on to the word while dancing her legs as I obligingly switch her long body around. I smile at her encouraging softly and gently for her to close her eyes. She relaxes and almost goes but returns to fight a bit more.

She sheds a few tears before she settles back in as I hum Silent Night. She hums it with me for the first verse the edges of her mouth turned up in a smile, eyes closed. When I begin the second verse I am unaccompanied and I slow down a bit as I hear her breathing slow. By the end of the third verse, she is far off in her mind, sleep has over taken. I slowly and carefully stand up as I have hundreds of times before with both my children.

I chuckle to myself as I turn to her crib. You'd think after nearly five and a half years at this mommy thing I would look into the crib before I had the sleeping baby (or toddler as the case is today) in my arms. Blankets strewn haphazardly along with a doll and stuffed bear. Nowhere without bumps or wrinkles for a sleeping toddler to snuggle in.

Grateful that at least this time the crib side was lowered I walk close to the crib and angle my body slightly. Taking a second to get my balance as I have before, I lift my right leg behind and to the side in a grand rond de jambe motion eventually into the crib. Delicate, controlled, smooth. No sudden or jerking movements keeping nice and fluid so as not to wake sleeping beauty. My socked foot scoots the blankets and toys down making a place for my baby. Once again steadying myself, I circle my leg from the front up and out of the crib while still holding tight my precious one.

Gently covered with a Nana blanket I grab my book and leave her room, looking back for a moment at her peaceful face and lowered eyelids.

I may not be using my "talent" or my degree according to some.  Some might think I gave up on a dream or on myself.  Me.  I know the truth is much more than that.  I use it every day.  A tap rhythm on the dining room floor has a hard time going unnoticed by even the most stubborn child.  As babies they would giggle as I pirouetted.  I sometimes think it is unusual how everything in life just overlaps.  I’m not sure why I find it unusual, it’s my life so past joins present.

Being Mom has been a natural fit for me. Not without trial and learning curves and hard work and striving for unattainable perfection.  Heidi and Mommy overlap at this place and it is safe to say I use my training on a daily basis and for the best purpose ever.  This audience is so sweet, they paint me flowers and always demand an encore!



Geo. said...

Butterfly Mama,

My daughter, now 25, used to respond well to "Old Man River" --consult Youtube, Paul Robison for cadence-- as I walked her infant version back and forth before bed. I'd lower my limited vocal range somewhere between Isaac and Gabby Hayse and it seemed to work. She and her older brothers, who endured the same shoulder recitals, still keep in touch with us and made good. My compliments on your sensitive, life-affirming blog and best wishes.


Queen Beth said...

This post was beautiful. Made me nostalgic....

I was going to be a chef. I was going to travel the world and work in the best kitchens. Culinary school was where my dreams were going to start.....

Now I make endless pans of not-very-special shepherd's pie and effortless tacos to the applaud and cheers of 3 kids who love my (what seems like) boring meals.

I'd rather have their accolades than all the restaurant patrons in Paris. :)

Motherhood is wonderful that way....

Mom said...

You are such a talented woman and mother!

Crunchy Christian Mom said...

There is no prettier arabesque than the one lifting up a sweet babe! Beautiful post, Heidi. :)